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Astroscale U.S., Air Force Research Lab Enter Cooperative Research and Development Agreement

By: Astroscale U.S.
Posted November 8th, 2022 Posted in News & Press Releases

CRADA will accelerate AFRL’s rendezvous and docking technology development

Denver, CO, Tuesday, November 8, 2022 – Astroscale U.S. Inc., (“Astroscale U.S.”), the U.S. subsidiary of Astroscale Holdings Inc. (Astroscale), the market leader in securing long-term orbital sustainability, signed a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), Space Vehicles Directorate, Spacecraft Technology Division, to partner on identifying relevant rendezvous, proximity operations and docking (RPOD) needs to strengthen in-space logistics capabilities and space domain awareness.

“AFRL is partnering with Astroscale to develop critical In-space Servicing, Assembly, and Manufacturing (ISAM) technologies that support Space Mobility and Logistics”, said Jason Guarnieri, AFRL CRADA manager. “This collaboration advances several of the strategic goals set forth in the National ISAM Strategy.”

Under the terms of the agreement, this collaboration and research initiative will allow the Department of the Air Force and Astroscale U.S. to conduct RPOD testing in an operational environment, thereby reducing the risk of rapidly developed technology on operational vehicles. Additionally, the effort will allow the Air Force to accelerate the timeline of an in-space logistics chain as recommended in the USAF 2030 Science and Technology Strategy.

“Collaborating on a complex technology such as RPOD signifies a key turning point for on-orbit servicing — from acceptance to adoption — as a strategic imperative for the United States,” said Ron Lopez, Astroscale U.S. President and Managing Director. “With our demonstrated success of close approach maneuvers in low Earth orbit, we are honored to work with AFRL to ensure that the innovative technology and development needs of the United States Space Force are aggressively pursued.”

Astroscale U.S. provides satellite life extension and other on-orbit services for commercial operators, the U.S. government, and partner governments around the world. This cooperative agreement will help Astroscale better understand the U.S. Space Force concept of operations for RPOD in a variety of orbital regimes including low Earth orbit (LEO), geostationary orbit (GEO) and cislunar. The agreement will also enable the USSF to develop use cases, capability statements and high-level concepts for missions like Astroscale’s Life Extension In-Orbit (LEXI) and End-of-Life Service by Astroscale demonstration (ELSA-d), which has proven RPOD and magnetic docking capability in space over the past year. ​


About Astroscale U.S.
Astroscale U.S. Inc. provides on-orbit services and logistics across all orbits for commercial operators, the U.S. government and partner governments around the world. Astroscale U.S. is headquartered in Denver, Colorado, and is a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Astroscale Holdings Inc., the first private company with a vision to secure the safe and sustainable development of space for the benefit of future generations, and the only company solely dedicated to on-orbit services across all orbits. Astroscale Israel Ltd., based in Tel Aviv, is a subsidiary of and serves as the research and payload development team for Astroscale U.S. Astroscale U.S. leverages the best of investments and developments made by Astroscale engineering, policy and business teams domestically and in Japan, the United Kingdom and Israel to provide flexibility and value for space operations in the U.S. and partner nations.

For more about Astroscale U.S., visit
For more about Astroscale, visit



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