How cables help to de-clutter Space: Astroscale UK signs contract with Scottish company, Axon’ Cable Ltd for End of Life mission cable harness.

8 Jun 2023

Thursday 8th June 2023 – Axon’ meets Scottish Government minister.
On their stand at the Space Comm Expo show in Farnborough, Scottish company, Axon’ Cable Ltd met Richard Lochhead, the Scottish Government Minister for Small Business, Innovation and Trade’, where they outlined to him the benefits of their recent contract success with Space debris clean-up experts, Astroscale UK, represented by the company’s Commercial Director, Andrew Faiola.  “This is a major win for our company.” explained Nigel Kellett, Axon’s Business Development Manager, “Although we have long space heritage stretching back 30 years though our parent company in France, this contract represents a significant expansion to our space activities in Scotland.  If this first In Orbit Demonstrator mission proves successful there is potential huge scale-up opportunity over the next 10 - 15 years with Astroscale and their ELSA-M mission alone.”

Making space in space – removing the clutter

Astroscale are planning to launch their first ELSA-M (End of Life Service by Astroscale – Multiple) servicer spacecraft in 2025 to carry out an in-orbit demonstration mission.  The spacecraft will locate prepared client satellites that have reached the end of their lives and via rendezvous proximity operations, will magnetically dock with them, then bring them to a lower drop off altitude where they will re-enter the earth’s atmosphere, safely breaking up on re-entry. With the ever-growing proliferation of spacecraft in orbit, servicer craft like Astroscale’s ELSA-M are seen as a vital step in securing the future sustainability of space operations.

Simplifying integration

Axon’ Cable Ltd, based in Rosyth, Fife, will design and manufacture the full cable “harness” for ELSA-M, which represents some 80 to 100 discrete cable assemblies.  Working in close collaboration with Astroscale they will precisely model in 3D the full routing of the cables throughout the complex spacecraft, making it easier for the satellite manufacturer when the time comes to integrate all the cables with very little available space!

About Axon’

Axon’ Cable Ltd was created in 1988 in Scotland, and today employs 55 staff, with a turnover of around £13.5 million.  The company is a subsidiary of the wider Axon’ Cable Group, headquartered in the Champagne region of France.  The group was created in 1965, and specialises in cables, connectors and cable assemblies for a wide range of challenging applications, including space, military and aerospace, automotive, energy, medical electronics and scientific research.  The company has 15 sites worldwide, employs some 2,500 staff, and enjoys a consolidated turnover of approximately 200 million euro.

About Astroscale

Astroscale is 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 dedicated to on-orbit servicing across all orbits. Founded in 2013, Astroscale is developing innovative and scalable solutions across the spectrum of on-orbit servicing, including life extension, in-space situational awareness, end-of-life, and active debris removal, to create sustainable space systems and mitigate the growing and hazardous buildup of debris in space. Astroscale is also defining business cases and working with government and commercial stakeholders to develop norms, regulations, and incentives for the responsible use of space. Headquartered in Japan, Astroscale has subsidiaries in the United Kingdom, the United States and Israel.