More Space, Less Waste: Laying The Sustainable Foundation Of The Orbital Economy

Background: The space economy is growing at a faster rate than ever before. Recent projections anticipate total space industry revenues at $1 trillion by 2040 or earlier. But due to increasing debris in space, collisions and near-misses are happening. Legacy space operations are increasing risk and decreasing ROI — but on-orbit servicing can reverse that dynamic. Nobu Okada, Founder and CEO of Astroscale, explains how Astroscale is solving this complex global issue using a startup mentality to secure space sustainability and foster growth of the space economy.


Since its inception in 2013, Nobu has grown Astroscale from a single person to an international group with about 450 team members, established a global footprint in five countries, and raised about USD $376 million. As a highly respected and influential figure in the space industry, Nobu holds several key positions, including International Astronautical Federation’s Vice President for Space Economy and Sponsorship, member of the International Academy of Astronautics, member of the Space Generation Advisory Council Advisory Board, a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society, and is a director of the Impact Startup Association in Japan. Nobu was co-chair of the World Economic Forum Council Global Future Council on Space Technologies until 2021 and played a key role in developing the concept of a Space Sustainability Rating, a system designed to ensure long-term sustainability by encouraging responsible behavior among countries and companies participating in space. Since founding Astroscale, Nobu has received numerous awards and accolades, including the Prime Minister’s Award in 2022, 2022 TIME100 Most Influential Companies, 2021 Satellite Technology of the Year, 2020 SpaceNews Company Leader of the Year, 2020 UNESCO Netexplo Innovation Forum Grand Prix, Forbes JAPAN “Start-up of The Year 2019”, and World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer in 2017. Prior to Astroscale, Nobu was an IT entrepreneur and strategy consultant, and had managed IT companies in Japan, China, India and Singapore. He led one company to a successful IPO. Before joining the IT industry, he worked for McKinsey & Company and the Japanese Government in the Ministry of Finance. Nobu earned his bachelor’s degree in Agriculture from the University of Tokyo in 1995 and an MBA from the Krannert School of Business, Purdue University in 2001.

Thursday, 27 July 2023

9:00 - 9:45 BST



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  • Nobu Okada resized
    Nobu Okada
    Founder & CEO
    Astroscale Holdings Inc
  • michael Mainelli.png
    Professor Michael Mainelli
    Z/Yen Group

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