Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak announces private space company
Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak is the latest to join the likes of Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and Richard Branson in the privatization of space with his new company, Privateer Space. Although details are sketchy right now, Wozniak's venture could have something to do with sustainability and space debris. All will be revealed at the 2021 AMOS Tech Conference in Maui, Hawaii that starts Tuesday.
Privateer Space has emerged from the dark and released a short video on YouTube (barely) explaining what the company aims to do. The video description names former iMac engineer and Ripcord CEO, Alex Fielding, as Privateer Space's co-founder. It says the company "is working to keep space safe and accessible to all humankind." One must read between the lines to understand what that means.
This isn't the first time that Wozniak and Fielding have collaborated to run a company. Back in 2001, the duo co-founded Wheels of Zeus (WoZ), a start-up that created GPS location tags that could be attached to commonly misplaced objects. The company was sold to Zontrak in 2006. For now, Privateer Space's website doesn't list contact information and the contact form isn't processing requests.
A Private space company is starting up, unlike the others. https://t.co/6s8J32mjuF— Steve Wozniak (@stevewoz) September 13, 2021
There's no dearth of ambiguous visionary statements in Privateer Space's teaser. "Together we'll go far," the video promises. The video envisions earthlings as a collective entity saying, "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." The race reference is possibly a nod to the Cold War-era space race.
The company prefers to describe itself as "unlike the others" in the private space world. The mentions of climate change, weather calamities, and air pollution indicate that Wozniak's venture could take an environmentally conscious approach to space (don't they all say they do?). Additionally, the space junk problem shows no signs of abating and the company could have an innovative solution in the works.
Meanwhile, researchers are contemplating using lasers to fragment debris and let it burn up in Earth's atmosphere, although that's an expensive proposition. SpaceX's partially reusable launch vehicles appear to be a step in the right direction considering that even flecks of paint in space can crack spaceship windows. We'll get to know more at the AMOS Tech Conference beginning on September 14 in Maui.