On Monday, Gizmodo identified a press release for a 3D titanium alloy printer that happened to mention Wozniak. Wozniak, who offered up a quote about the printer’s future use in the aerospace industry, was identified in the press release as “co-founder of Privateer Space, a new satellite company focused on monitoring and cleaning up objects in space.” And while the YouTube video Wozniak linked to is almost as cryptic as his tweet, it does stress the importance of “taking care of what we have” for the next generation, which aligns with any mission that aims to clean up the planet—or beyond. The video also depicts a wildfire, a burning mannequin, and smoke coming from a power plant, which more than hints at our worsening environmental crisis. The video description states Privateer is “working to keep space safe and accessible to all humankind,” a refreshing message in an era during which more and more billionaires are racing toward the stars.
Wozniak, an electronics engineer, entrepreneur, philanthropist, and former billionaire with a now-estimated net worth of $100 million, is uniquely poised to help solve the issue of space debris from a private standpoint. Given his experience founding a groundbreaking tech company and recentering his focus on energy-efficient tech, it’s no surprise that he’d point his funds toward an extremely expensive problem like space garbage. NASA states there are close to 6 million tons of debris in low earth orbit alone, including massive chunks caused by the destruction of the Chinese Fengyun-1C spacecraft in 2007 and the collision of an American and a Russian spacecraft in 2009. NASA has funded technology to help clear space junk before, but the debris still constitutes a major problem.
Further details regarding Privateer’s purpose are expected to be released at some point during the AMOS Tech 2021 conference, which ends tomorrow. Those interested can also sign up for updates from Privateer on the company’s website.
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