back to article Wozniak startup to share orbital space junk data

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak opened up about his space startup Privateer at the Global Entrepreneurship Congress in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia this week. Privateer's mission is to build software that taps into data from various sources to track objects in Earth orbit, which includes satellites and debris that could potentially …

  1. G40
    Pint

    Thanks and, please,

    have a pint.

    1. Foxglove

      Re: Thanks and, please,

      Yup,

      More Wozes fewer Zuckerbergs, please.

      I know there's only one of each, but you get the idea.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Thanks and, please,

        *Especially* taking that into account, one less actual Mark Zuckerberg would be a huge improvement.

  2. Schultz
    WTF?

    What is it about 'tech pioneers' and space?

    Feels like earth has grown too small for the bunch of them. This increases my appreciation of Bill Gates, who invests his energy and my money (monopoly tax ): into more earthly endeavors.

    1. Robin

      Re: What is it about 'tech pioneers' and space?

      Yeah, better to wait until satellite debris is a massive problem and THEN try and fix it right? (It already is a problem)

  3. GruntyMcPugh

    Interesting stuff. I'm going to the stag do of a former colleague at the weekend, who is now an associate professor at Warwick University, who does work tracking space debris these days. It will be good to get his take on this. Maybe Woz should get over to Warwick as they are hosting NAM this year.

  4. Graham Cobb Silver badge

    Geosynchronous?

    The article mentions geosynchronous orbit, but also mentions other things which are more relevant to low earth orbit (ISS, satnav, etc) - which are a long way apart (and energy considerations mean not much crosses between those).

    Is the problem limited to (or more critical for) certain orbits? Is this initiative limited to certain types of orbits? It would be useful if the article was clearer.

    1. DJO Silver badge

      Re: Geosynchronous?

      I suspect the main danger comes from objects in elliptical orbits as they intersect every other orbit on the same plane.

      1. Julz Silver badge

        Re: Geosynchronous?

        All orbits are elliptical unless your passing through.

        1. DJO Silver badge

          Re: Geosynchronous?

          I know, even circular orbits are technically elliptical but I wanted to keep it simple.

          BTW: Skitt's law: "Any post correcting an error in another post will contain at least one error itself.

          "You're" not "Your".

  5. Sandstone
    Pirate

    Great Startup Opportunity

    Once we know where the junk is we can start salvage operations. There is even a Chinese or Korean made movie on Netflix about it.

    1. mercyground

      Re: Great Startup Opportunity

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Planetes

      https://myanimelist.net/manga/481/Planetes

      The story of Planetes follows the crew of the DS-12 "Toy Box" of the Space Debris Section, a unit of Technora Corporation. Debris Section's purpose is to prevent the damage or destruction of satellites, space stations and spacecraft from collision with debris (so-called "space debris") in Earth's and the Moon's orbits. They use a number of methods to dispose of the debris (mainly by burning it via atmospheric reentry or through salvage), accomplished through the use of EVA suits.

      Not a bad series tbh.

  6. Steve Aubrey

    Irony

    "Privateer is planning to launch its own satellites"

    Anybody taking odds on whether these fly-boxes may eventually add to what needs to be tracked?

    Not suggesting he'd intentionally create additional bits for his company to track - would be expensive and dumb, and he certainly ain't the latter. But it's within the realm of possibility.

    And it's a serious question - no matter how well-intentioned, putting a box up there means the risk is non-zero.

    1. Timbo Bronze badge

      Re: Irony

      "Anybody taking odds on whether these fly-boxes may eventually add to what needs to be tracked?"

      It could be that Woz is going to put up satellites that can cause "space debris" to drop out of orbit, in a controlled way.

      This could be via all sorts of methods, as have been tried recently, such as "nets" or "harpoons", or even the odd "PAM" (power assist module) that might be strapped onto the larger "birds"...

  7. DiViDeD

    A Golden Opportunity

    Could Privateer start by deorbiting all those bloody Starlink boxen?

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