A way-out plan to turn space junk into treasure

Orbital debris
A computer-generated image represents 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.

Get the full story on GeekWire.

By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributor to GeekWire and Universe Today, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," past president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing.

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