Rocket Lab has secured another launch contract in September, this time with commercial space debris removal pioneer Astroscale. This contract is for the ADRAS-J 1 mission that Astroscale is developing for the Japanese space agency, JAXA. The mission is the first phase of a two-part mission which is aimed at the de-orbiting of a spent Japanese rocket upper-stage.
The Astroscale developed satellite is now planned to be launched in 2023 by a Rocket Lab Electron rocket. Once in orbit the satellite is intended to rendezvous with the rocket body and observe and inspect it providing data which will be used in the planning for the future de-orbit mission.