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Satellite consultant outlines a way-out plan to turn space junk into lunar treasure

13 Jun 2019, 15:00 UTC
Satellite consultant outlines a way-out plan to turn space junk into lunar treasure
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A computer-generated image represents the main zones of space debris. The two main debris fields are the ring of objects in geosynchronous Earth orbit and the cloud of objects in low Earth orbit. (NASA Illustration)
What can be done with the thousands of dead satellites orbiting Earth? Some commercial ventures are hatching plans to get rid of them, but one expert has laid out a scheme for turning them into building materials … for the moon.
And the Blue Moon lunar lander being developed by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin space venture could play a part in the scheme. “The Blue Moon fits into my plan perfectly,” Keith Volkert, CEO of California-based Satellite Consulting Inc., said last week at Amazon’s re:MARS conference in Las Vegas.
The fact that Volkert presented his satellite salvaging plan at re:MARS doesn’t suggest that Bezos has endorsed the idea. But it does suggest Volkert has put enough thought into his seemingly crazy idea to win a share of the Vegas spotlight.
Volkert’s plan starts with the fact that there are more than 3,000 non-functioning satellites currently drifting in a variety of Earth orbits, mixed in with an estimated 1,950 satellites that still work. Some ...

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