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Orbital space debris

  1. Sep 7, 2015 #1
    Lets try this again. Hello, my name is Fritz Conklin. I recently started a company, Clear Space Technologies. We intend to recycle and repurpose debris instead of the standard solution of "lets destroy it". This poses several hurdles, but nothing we can't overcome. Our mission is to defray the costs of future projects, i.e. lunar habitats or perhaps a lunar orbiting station etc. utilizing the harvested debris. Lets not forget the estimated value of some of this "junk". Obsolete, maybe but valuable none the less. So what do you think? Any and all input accepted.
     
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  3. Sep 7, 2015 #2

    Drakkith

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    Have you done a cost analysis or something for all of this yet? Do you have a plan for cheaply getting a vehicle into orbit and then harvesting this debris?
     
  4. Sep 7, 2015 #3
    We are doing some cost analysis now. It seems the entire infrastructure exists, and initial costs seem high, but getting space faring nations to aid in the cleanup of their respective messes should be the way to go. The vehicles on the other hand, with funding are within a 5 year window, as all are unmanned and somewhat autonomous. Launch vehicles are available, but because of the specialized purpose of the harvester, they will end up being one and the same. Several designs sit on my desk as we "speak" Design specs etc. are at this time proprietary but should be available for dissemination mid 2016. This is why we post. I thank you so much for your interest. We await your next query.
     
  5. Sep 7, 2015 #4

    Drakkith

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    Okay. Now, may I ask how you're planning to re-purpose this debris? Much of it seems to be completely unusable other than as scrap. Also, you'll have to get it back to Earth without it burning up or disintegrating. How are you planning to do so?
     
  6. Sep 7, 2015 #5

    Evo

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    Are you aware of the DARPA Phoenix program?

    Seems DARPA already has a commercial partner and they have changed their original plan to be one of military and commercial repair of broken satellites.

    http://www.novawurks.com/applications/darpa-phoenix/

    They already scraped the original plan. "DARPA continues program to reuse parts from orbiting dead satellites"

    http://www.militaryaerospace.com/articles/print/volume-24/issue-02/news/news/darpa-continues-program-to-reuse-parts-from-orbiting-dead-satell.html [Broken]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2017
  7. Sep 7, 2015 #6
    As far as the repurposing, we believe that some of the structures in orbit could be retrofitted as the basic beginnings of lunar habitat. After a soft crash landing on the lunar surface. The recycling begins with a reusable, shielded reentry vehicle, basically a hollow tube, splash down and barge recovery.

    Please, enlighten me.

    Funny you should bring up Darpa. My son had me get the codec chirp from metal gear solid as my mail chime.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2015
  8. Sep 7, 2015 #7

    D H

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    Welcome to PhysicsForums, Fritz.

    I google search for "Fritz Conklin"; no luck. That means you're not an extremely rich person who is willing to risk it all on joining the NewSpace crowd. You will need investors. Big investors. I google searched for "Clear Space Technologies". No luck. Do you have a website? That's one of the first things big investors look for from a high tech 21st century company. They also look for a viable business plan.


    That seems overambitious on first glance. Have you identified your customers? Have you done some kind of analysis regarding what they're willing to pay? Have you estimated your costs, your timeline? Have you looked at your competition (you have serious competition). Do you have a team, or a plan for forming a team? You'll need lots of expertise. You will not be able to do this by yourself.

    In short, have you made a business case? You'll need one (a very good one) because you will need major investors. Getting stuff into space is expensive. Designing and building stuff that goes into space is even more expensive.

    There have been a number of very well funded and less ambitious satellite recovery projects that have been shelved: MDA's Space Infrastructure Servicing, Orbital Recovery Corporation's ConeXpress. A new startup, ViviSat (http://www.vivisat.com) appears to be very well funded and considerably less ambitious than those that have folded.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2015
  9. Sep 7, 2015 #8
    Believe me, I don't profess to know all aspects of the project, but I have surrounded myself with people who do.
     
  10. Sep 7, 2015 #9

    Drakkith

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    I'm afraid that we may not be able to help you very much, as there probably isn't anyone here on PF that's an expert in this area. If you've already surrounded yourself by people who are experts, why did you come to PF? Or am I misunderstanding the purpose of this thread?
     
  11. Sep 7, 2015 #10
    Our website should be up and running soon. No I am not rich, except in mind. You bring up numerous valid points, most of which, well some of which, we have heard and are, or intend to address. It is ambitious, but we have to be, to achieve.

    I was just looking for exactly what you gave me. It will be a daunting task, with many pitfalls. We believe we are up to it. The money will come as always. Our client base is yet to be established, but we are working on it. Thank you so very much for your time. Plenty to cogitate. I will post again when our website is up. Sorry if I wasted your time, and I'm sure all there would be of great help.

    It's the refreshing honesty I guess I was looking for. Someone NOT on the payroll. No smoke. If you catch my drift.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2015
  12. Sep 7, 2015 #11

    D H

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    Do you have enough money to go to Jerusalem in October? You need to establish your bonafides, and a conference is a good place to do that. The 66th International Astronautical Congress (IAC) will have a number of sessions dedicated to orbital debris removal / repurposing.
     
  13. Sep 7, 2015 #12

    SteamKing

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    Exactly which "structures" are you talking about, which could be recycled into a lunar habitat?

    If you are planning on bringing this stuff back to earth to refurbish it, you'll have to pay to get it back into orbit, let alone to the moon.
     
  14. Sep 7, 2015 #13
    Now see, that's what I need. Thank you. I will try. Or should one of my tech. guys go?
     
  15. Sep 7, 2015 #14
    It was proposed that upper stage structures could be retrofitted as habitat. Of course this is a future phase. The recycling would be first, in an effort to finance the latter.
     
  16. Sep 7, 2015 #15

    Evo

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    Since DARPA has a commercial partner to repair and repurpose these dead satellites already. Just what satellites do you think you're going to buy? What due diligence have you done?

    Also, please learn to use the quote function and how to multi-quote, your responses seem to be to no one in particular.
     
  17. Sep 7, 2015 #16
    We aren't going to BUY anything. The idea is to get paid to remove these hinderences to navigation.
     
  18. Sep 7, 2015 #17

    Drakkith

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    To explain, you can hit the 'Reply' button at the bottom of any post to copy that post into the text box below and reply to it. The '+Quote' button will add that post to a quote que, and once you're done adding posts to the quote que you can click the 'Insert Quotes' button to add those posts to the reply text box. In addition, you can highly specific text within any post and a small popup will appear allowing you to reply to or quote that text.
     
  19. Sep 7, 2015 #18
    And if THIS is DARPA's responsibility,--- well frankly, they are "sucking" at it (to use the vernacular)

    Sorry, I assumed they were going where needed. I do see how it could be confusing to a newcomer to the thread.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2015
  20. Sep 7, 2015 #19

    Evo

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    And your existing competition?
     
  21. Sep 7, 2015 #20
    There are a few. Mostly using tethers to add resistance and degrade the orbit to eventual destruction, but that's what we want to avoid.
     
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