Steve Wozniak

Apple co-founder announces private company to clean up space debris

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has reportedly announced a private space company, which is apparently poised to clean up the space debris that are left floating in zero gravity by all the space missions being launched by the earth. The company has been named Privateer, and has been founded by Wozniak in collarboration with Wheels on Zeus (a firm involved in developing wireless location trackers) founder Alex Fielding.

In A Motivational Stealth Mode

It is not yet known how exactly the company will work, but more details are expected to come out during the Advanced Maui Optical and Space Surveillance (AMOS) 2021 conference, which is currently underway. Privateer’s website, in the meanwhile, is still in “stealth mode.”

Wozniak has even shared a short video to the effect, which features a compilation of the various space-related developments over the ages, complete with inspirational music and voice over. The video tells viewers that it is “up to us to do what is right and what is good,” so as to make it possible for the future generation to be “better together.”

Space Travel a Major Problem?

It remains to be seen just how Privateer will work towards tackling the space debris problem, which is fast ballooning up, thanks to companies like Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin, Elon Musk’s SpaceX, and even Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic. All these space biggies are currently attempting to send private citizens flying to space, something which is expected to further aggravate the problem.

Apple founder company space
Image Credits: SpaceX

News outlet Gizmodo has reportedly seen a press release for a 3D titanium alloy printer, which describes Privateer as “a satellite company” that is aimed at cleaning up space debris. Mr. Wozniak has also been quoted saying that Privateer Space’s team is seeking to reach the desirable capacities in terms of lightweighting and affordability, so that the company can find a way to design and launch its satellite.

The Risk of an Impenetrable Wall

The major task ahead of the firm is dealing with the number of active and defunct satellites that dot the space around the Earth. The numbers have already risen to a whopping 7600, from some 3300 a decade ago, and are expected to go up to 100,000 before 2030.

The debris could potentially lead to the risks that NASA scientist Donald Kessler had warned off in 1978: that of an impenetrable wall of space debris, which would make it impossible to carry out any terrestrial launches, trapping us on the Earth.