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Space Drone 1, 2

Space Drone 1 [Effective Space Solutions]

Space Drone is a satellite servicing vehicle by the Israeli company Effective Space Solutions, which will dock with their customer's existing satellites to provide stationkeeping and attitude control capabilities. Effective Space Solution was acquired in 2020 by Astroscale U.S. Inc.

Space Drone is a 400 kilogram spacecraft designed to dock with existing satellites that are running low on fuel but are otherwise operational. The spacecraft, launched as a secondary payload, uses electric propulsion to maneuver to its target satellite, attaching to the satellite’s launch vehicle interface ring via four robotic arms. The Space Drone then takes over the maneuvering of the satellite, either for long-term operations or short-term activities, such as moving the satellite into a graveyard orbit at the end of the satellite’s life. The Space Drones feature four ion-electric thrusters per satellite on long deployable appendices for orbit-raising and stationkeeping.

In January 2018, Effective Space signed a contract with an unnamed customer to perform life extension services for two satellites. That unnamed customer is paying around $100 million for multi-year life extension.

In March 2018 the company signed a contract over the launch of two of its Space Drone satellite life extension vehicles as secondary payloads on a Proton-M Briz-M (Ph.4) in 2020, which will deliver them directly into geostationary orbit.

Effective Space Solution was acquired in 2020 by Astroscale U.S. Inc. The Space Drone will evolve into an Astroscale servicing platform, which will be integrated in the United States.

Nation: Israel
Type / Application: Satellite servicing
Operator: Effective Space Solutions → Astroscale U.S. Inc.
Contractors: IAI
Propulsion: 4 × ion thrusters
Power: 2 deployable solar arrays, batteries
Mass: 400 kg
Orbit: GEO
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
Space Drone 1 - cancelled Ba Proton-M Briz-M (Ph.4) with ?, Space Drone 2
Space Drone 2 - cancelled Ba Proton-M Briz-M (Ph.4) with ?, Space Drone 1

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