Space Race

And in other Just Cold Stealin’ My Satelloon Idea Before The Fact News:
This has been stuck on my iPad for way too long. At a space flight conference a couple of months ago, the Global Aerospace Corporation announced their GOLD program, the Gossamer Orbit Lowering Device for controlled satellite de-orbiting.
GOLD is a commercial venture designed as a solution for managing the clutter in low-earth orbit [LEO]. It’d be available as an option for future missions, or as its own mission for dealing with space junk that’s already out there.
The idea is to attach a satelloon-style inflatable sphere up to 100 meters [!] in diameter to a satellite, thereby degrading its orbit much more quickly, and letting you steer it to a fiery death in the atmosphere. Though Global only just announced it publicly, they received a patent for the GOLD system it in 2004.
Conceptually, it couldn’t be more different than my satelloon idea; Global Aerospace is pushing hardcore utility and cost-effectiveness, while I’m going for art’s utter uselessness for anything but sheer experiential and aesthetic benefit.
But from the ground, I suspect it’ll be pretty hard to tell the art satelloons from the functional satellite killers. I will need to keep an eye on these people.
Global Aerospace Corporation | GOLD []
Balloon device for lowering space object orbits [google patents]