Space junk was little more than a minor problem ten years ago but since then has escalated into a massive environmental and national security concern with little to no solution. Fortunately, a man named Nobu Okada founded his space debris start-up back in 2013 and since then has brought the space clean-up industry into the private sector which could generate a revenue of $14.3 billion by 2031.
The earth has an estimated amount of 9,000 metric tons of debris circling the earth that has come from retired satellites and other spacecraft. Since 2019 the number of satellites in orbit has increased by 50% which has caused growing concerns about a potential collision. While collisions are still rare, the number of near misses has only increased within the past couple of years. Many of these satellites are crucial for communication and analytical purposes and if some were to be knocked out unexpectedly it could cause serious national security problems.
Okada’s company, Astroscale, has taken the world by storm not only by offering space clean-up services as well as maintenance of spacecraft to reduce debris but is also pushing for better governance across the world. Currently, nations do not have a unified agreement as to how regulations should be managed and space is particularly unique because no one has control over the area.
Source: Financial Times