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Who Are the Space Privateers?


People are used to saying that the sky is the limit. However, it appears that it will soon change, since more companies every day announce plans of expanding their business beyond those limits. Some even base their whole business model on this notion.

One of those companies is Steve Wozniak's Privateer Space. The co-founder of Apple and a known philanthropist takes the term "innovation" to new heights. His new company plans to clean space debris.

What is Space Debris?

Space junk, or space debris, is any piece of machinery or debris left by humans in space. It can be big objects like dead satellites, ones left in orbit at the end of their mission. It can also refer to smaller things, like chunks of debris or paint scraps that have fallen off a rocket.

The space debris increases the potential danger to all space vehicles, like the International Space Station and other spacecraft with humans aboard, such as SpaceX's Crew Dragon.

According to NASA, the potential of collision has to be taken seriously, especially after the radical increase of space debris in the last years. There are more than 23,000 pieces of debris larger than a tennis ball orbiting the Earth. Travelling at speeds of up to 281 km/h makes even the smallest of these pieces very dangerous for a satellite or a spacecraft.

Privateer Space - The Space Waste Collectors

Wozniak tweeted a short Youtube clip on 13th September, where he teased the public with his message, "A Private space company is starting up, unlike the others".

The clip depicts a wildfire, a burning mannequin, and smoke coming from a power plant, which more than hints at our environmental crisis. The video description explains that Privateer is "working to keep space safe and accessible to all humankind," a bracing message in an era in which the number of billionaires racing toward the stars is going up.

The Privateer's plans are as cryptic as Wozniak's tweet, as the details of the company's mission, customer base, and product offerings are yet to be disclosed. It was expected that some details would be revealed at the AMOS (Advanced Maui Optical and Space Surveillance) 2021 conference, yet we're still kept in the dark on their precise intentions.

However, it is safe to assume that innovation in business keeps pushing the boundaries successfully. Let us continue working together in finding new ways to do good business on this planet and hope that entrepreneurs will do good innovative business in space too!

Are you interested in entering the UKB&IA '22? If so, apply for the Awards by 5th November to get a price reduction on the standard entry fee.

Sources:
https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/news/orbital_debris.html
https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/apple-founder-wozniak-space-debris-company-b1919747.html?utm_source=reddit.com

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