Astroscale Selects VxWorks to Help Clean Up Space

Astroscale has turned to VxWorks for its End-of-Life Service line (ELSA-M) to solve satellite operators’ debris removal challenges and promote sustainable space systems.

Customer Success Story

The Objective

With increasing regulatory, industry, and public pressure to prioritize space sustainability, satellite operators must find ways to protect the orbital environment and the services that they offer. Astroscale needed its ELSA-M service to provide a solution to safely and responsibly capture and retire multiple client satellites during a single mission.

How Wind River Helped

VxWorks® serves as the software foundation for Astroscale’s sustainable space systems. Astroscale’s servicer spacecraft embeds a radiation-hardened onboard computer running Astroscale’s software applications on VxWorks. The Wind River® RTOS is responsible for the system’s computer vision processing, not only for space debris detection and precise tracking but also for autonomous navigation and rendezvous operations.

"The extremely complex rendezvous operations require the highest levels of precision, quality robotics, and onboard systems for successful maneuvering and capture, making it imperative to work with proven technology such as that from Wind River as our software foundation."

— Stephen Wokes, director of engineering, Astroscale Ltd.

The Results

An in-orbit demonstration (IOD) mission to capture an inactive satellite is anticipated to launch in 2025. This will be the first time a commercial active debris removal (ADR) satellite will complete the end-to-end operations of a removal service with a full-sized and fully representative client satellite. The mission is part of Astroscale’s partnership with OneWeb and the European Space Agency (ESA).


Press Release

VxWorks Serves as Software Foundation for Astroscale Sustainable Space Systems

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Astroscale has selected VxWorks for its End-of-Life Service line (ELSA-M)

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