Nobu Okada openly admits that Astroscale, the Singapore-based space debris removal company he founded in 2013, was born out of a mid-life crisis.
“I was 39 years-old, I was wondering, what’s life going to be when I’m 40?” the Japanese entrepreneur says. After 15 years in IT, and ready to move on from the software business he had founded in 2009, Okada decided to rekindle his teenage passion for space. But while he imagined a life filled with scientists talking about rocket systems or micro satellites, today he finds himself preoccupied with galactic garbage.
Astroscale is one of a small group of international businesses vying to be the first to develop a commercially viable way to bring down defunct satellites and capture a piece of an unusual, but potentially lucrative future market.