Founder & CEO, Astrocale
Nobu Okada founded Astroscale in 2013 due to a strong desire to address the growing threat of space debris. He used his personal funds as seed money and hired a team in Singapore in 2013 and opened an R&D office in Japan in 2015, a UK office in 2017, a US office in 2019, and an Israeli office in 2020, whilst raising US $140M capital. The team calls themselves, “Space Sweepers” and their mission is to secure safe and sustainable development of space for the benefit of future generations.
Nobu is the co-chair of The Future of Space Technologies Council, World Economic Forum, member of the Space Generation Advisory Council Advisory Board, a member of the International Astronautical Federation, and a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society. He also served as a member of the Subcommittee on Space Civil Use, and Space Industry at the Cabinet Office for the Government of Japan. Nobu won the Forbes JAPAN “Start-up of The Year 2019” and was listed as Technology Pioneer by the World Economic Forum in 2017.
Prior to founding 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. He 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.
When he was a teenager, Nobu attended a camp at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in the United States where he met Japan’s first astronaut, Mamoru Mohri. He received the handwritten message, “Space is waiting for your challenge.” and has been inspired to work on space ever since.