Ever since Germany successfully launched the V-2 rocket into space in 1944, the reality of space debris has been a constant worry. Post-Space Race and well into the space revolution, space debris is constantly increasing. However, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak is working on cleaning it all up.
Steve Wozniak cleaning up space debris
In a new development, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has founded space cleaning company Privateer. Founded alongside original iMac developer Alex Fielding, the two are aiming to clean up humanity’s space waste.
Details on Privateer are incredibly sparse. However, leaks prior to today's announcement state that the company will be focused entirely on cleaning space. More details will be revealed at the upcoming AMOS (Advanced Maui Optical and Space Surveillance) 2021 conference, which starts today.
At the moment, Steve Wozniak has released a small teaser video for Privateer. While the video is vague in its intentions, it sells a message of keeping space safe and accessible. The video says:
"Together, we'll go far. We'll look out for one another, solve problems together. This isn't a race, it isn't a competition, or a game. We are not one person, one company, one nation. We are one planet. We're one planet. We are explorers, dreamers, risk-takers, engineers, and star gazers — we are humans. And its up to us to work together to what is right and what is good. So it's up to us to take care of what we have so the next generation can be better together."
How bad is our space waste?
According to NASA, the Earth is currently orbited by an estimated 100 million pieces of space debris. That's a bad amount on its own. However, the reality of space debris is far more dangerous than many believe.
NASA says that interacting with debris as small as a speck of paint can result in massive damage. This is due to the high speeds that the debris travels once caught in Earth’s orbit. When that happens, even miniscule objects can completely destroy a space shuttle's window.
Steve Wozniak is doing the right thing by founding Privateer. If we do wish to continue travelling into space, we need to take better care of the environment. The next step: holding private space companies to account.