SKY Perfect JSAT Plans to Remove Space Debris Using Lasers

As humanity’s footprint in space expands, so too does the accumulation of defunct satellites, spent rocket stages, and other remnants of space missions past. The issue of space debris is now regarded as an environmental problem as significant as global warming and marine plastic pollution. SKY Perfect JSAT and Orbital Lasers are heavily addressing this concern and aiming to contribute to improving a sustainable space environment.

Why space debris is dangerous

Space debris poses a significant danger due to its potential to collide with operational satellites and spacecraft, jeopardizing critical space-based services upon which we rely daily. This debris, ranging from defunct satellites to discarded rocket stages, orbits Earth at high speeds, increasing the risk of catastrophic collisions. Such impacts damage or destroy valuable assets and generate additional debris, exacerbating the problem and heightening the risk of further collisions. Consequently, the proliferation of space debris threatens the safety and reliability of space systems, impacting everything from weather forecasting to emergency communication, and underscores the urgent need for effective mitigation measures.

SKY Perfect JSAT

Since launching Japan’s first commercial communication satellite, “JCSAT-1,” in 1989, SKY Perfect JSAT has been a trailblazer in the space industry, offering satellite services in Japan and abroad for over three decades. In 2018, the company established an internal startup program to explore innovative business opportunities, leading to the inception of a project focused on ensuring a sustainable space environment. Through collaboration between industry and academia, this project advanced through research and feasibility studies, culminating in the development and utilization plans for space-based laser technologies. Consequently, SKY Perfect JSAT has launched two new ventures dedicated to space debris removal and Satellite LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging).

In June 2020, the company disclosed plans to design and construct the payload for the inaugural satellite aimed at space debris removal utilizing laser technology. As a result SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation has announced the creation of the Orbital Lasers recently, marking a significant milestone in their journey. The collaboration with the Institute of Physical and Chemical Research (RIKEN) laid the groundwork for this ultimate initiative, ultimately giving rise to the new startup.

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