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]

Since 2001 here at, I've been blogging about the creative process—my own and those of people who interest me. That mostly involves filmmaking, art, writing, research, and the making thereof.

Many thanks to the Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Program for supporting that time.

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greg [at] greg [dot ] org

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first published: September 6, 2010.

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