Civilization, history and the technology, as well as everything humanity has stood and lived for, lies here on Earth.
The planet that has long been humanity's only home, is much smaller than a tiny speck of sand, orbiting somewhere in the desert.
Earth is so small, and humans can only dream big.
While government-backed space agencies have long gone into space, it's only much later that the space race has been privatized. When billionaires like Elon Musk with SpaceX, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos with Blue Origin, and Richard Branson with Virgin Atlantic are racing to be the first to commercialize space travel, there is one issue: space junk.
Up there, there are lots of them.
Each and every time a rocket goes to space, it leaves debris and other trash. These unused things, when far up, will orbit the Earth, before eventually fall down and get destroyed by the friction of the atmosphere. But before that, they are literally polluting Earth's upper atmosphere.
This is where Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak is trying to play his part.
A Private space company is starting up, unlike the others. https://t.co/6s8J32mjuF
— Steve Wozniak (@stevewoz) September 13, 2021
Following his billionaire peers, Wozniak launches his own space company.
In a tweet, the Apple co-founder said that his "private space company" is "unlike the others."
Called the Privateer Space, the company's mission is to "keep space safe and accessible to all humankind," according to a promo video.
"It's up to us to work together to do what is right and what is good," the promo video said. "So here's to taking care of what we have so the next generation can be better together."
"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 are explorers," it continued.
"We are dreamers risk takers, engineers, and Stargazers, we are, aren't you, and it's up to us to work together to do what is right. So here's to taking care of what we have. So the next generation can be better together."
Space junk is also called space debris, space pollution, space waste, space trash, or space garbage.
They are essentially defunct artificial objects in space that include, and not limited to: derelict spacecraft, like nonfunctional spacecraft and abandoned launch vehicle stages, as well as space mission-related debris, and fragments from rocket bodies and spacecrafts. Beyond those, solidified liquids from spacecrafts and unburned particles are also considered space junk.
While these things individually may not be big enough to cause damage to Earth, they pose risks to spacecrafts, satellites, as well as the International Space Station, among others.
As of October 2019, the U.S. Space Surveillance Network reported nearly 20,000 space junk orbiting Earth.
However, these items are objects large enough to be tracked.
Smaller debris, like those that are smaller than 1 centimeter, accounts to more than 128 million pieces. About 900,000 pieces of debris are 1–10 centimeters, and around 34,000 of pieces are larger than 10 centimeters.
As of 2002, more than 98% of the 1,900 tons of debris in low Earth orbit at the time, was accounted for by about 1,500 objects, each over 100 kilograms.
Because space junk is literally trash, there has been measurement, mitigation, and potential removal of debris being conducted by some participants in the space industry.
And here, Wozniak wants to be one among them.