Space debris is a serious problem, threatening not only satellites and space vehicles, but our very economy. With space-based communications, television, military, and GPS/navigation systems, our economy is more dependent upon space that many realize.
Astroscale, a newspace start-up based out of Singapore, Japan, and the UK, is developing technology to de-orbit dead satellites. Gracefully de-orbiting dead satellites will prevent them from colliding with other objects, damaging or destroying them and thereby creating yet more space debris. They also will be launching another satellite for monitoring sub-millimeter pieces of space debris. The problem of space debris has inspired many new start-ups, with a variety of innovative approaches. Astroscale estimates that there are about 750,000 pieces of debris a centimeter or larger in orbit today.
Combined with earlier Series A and B rounds, Astroscale has raised a total of $53 million USD, from a mix of venture capitalists and private companies.