Space debris in low-Earth Orbit is increasing year-on-year, with inaction threatening Kessler Syndrome, a point where debris collisions are self-sustaining and space launches are impossible. Conventional control techniques make it infeasible to manage the rendezvous, docking, and deorbit multiple pieces of debris every year. Adaptive controllers can sense and correct for deviations in systems with unknown or time-varying characteristics. The current work develops and experimentally verifies that optimization decreases the convergence time of a simple adaptive controller, while disturbance compensation increases the model tracking. Design heuristics are developed that provide a tangible method for determining simple adaptive control parameters. Furthermore, simulations show that simple adaptive control can uncouple unknown system dynamics, while improving the response. The provided work provides several methods and techniques to help designers implement simple adaptive control in physical systems, and improving those designs once they are implemented.