Space’s Trash Collector?

  Space’s Trash Collector? A Japanese Entrepreneur Wants the Job

By MARTIN FACKLER

A vacuum chamber used to test parts of Astroscale’s IDEA OSG 1 satellite at the company’s factory in Tokyo. The satellite, scheduled to be launched next year, will compile data on the density of space debris. Credit Ko Sasaki for The New York Times

TOKYO — Sitting in a drab industrial neighborhood surrounded by warehouses and factories, Astroscale’s Tokyo office seems appropriately located for a company seeking to enter the waste management business.

Only inside do visitors see signs that its founder, Mitsunobu Okada, aspires to be more than an ordinary garbageman. Schoolroom pictures of the planets decorate the door to the meeting room. Satellite mock-ups occupy a corner. Mr. Okada greets guests in a dark blue T-shirt emblazoned with his company’s slogan: Space Sweepers. Read more.