In my next interview for ideaXme, I was able to chat with Charity Weeden, Vice President of Global Space Policy at Astroscale. We talked about space policy and mitigation practices to alleviate the current situation of space debris, and methods of prevention to ensure spaceflight safety in the future.
2020 is set to have the busiest launch schedule yet in aerospace history. With every launch and payload delivery, some rocket parts may linger in lower Earth orbit for long periods of time. There are also many decommissioned satellites that are no longer in use stationed in geosynchronous orbit. These lingering remains are referred to as space debris or space junk. After decades of launches, payload deliveries and space travel, it is starting to get a little cluttered.
Astroscale is proposing to aid in the removal of orbital debris by providing Active Debris Removal and End of Life services. Their mission is to « Secure long-term spaceflight safety and orbital sustainability for the benefit of future generations. » They are providing a technical solution at the same time as helping to define a business case for this service. They are also working with national space agencies, international institutions, non-profit organizations, insurance companies and satellite operators to develop norms, regulations and incentives that contribute to a responsible use of space. Astroscale has offices in Japan, United Kingdom, United States and Singapore.
Charity has a rich experience in aerospace operations, advocacy, and diplomacy. She is a 23-year veteran of the Royal Canadian Air Force. In the interview, you’ll hear her talk about the amazing experience of working for the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) inside Cheyenne Mountain in the state of Colorado in the United States. During her time with the military and working at NORAD, she served as part of a team in charge of monitoring space debris. She has also served as Senior Director of Policy at the Satellite Industry Association, and has formed a consulting business to support the space industry.
NASA Orbital Debris Program Office: https://orbitaldebris.jsc.nasa.gov
Fellowship where she mentors: http://www.brookeowensfellowship.org
Twitter: @astroscale_ (main account) (they also have @astroscale_JP in Japan and @astroscale_US for the US)
Credits: Ana Guzman interview text and audio
Ana comes to ideaXme with nine years experience working at NASA’s Johnson Space Center serving different roles in their communications and multimedia teams. As part of the ideaXme team, she wishes to continue working in outreach and educating the public on different topics regarding all things space. Ana is currently working as a freelancer providing affordable video production and social media marketing services to small businesses and entrepreneurs in the Houston area. She also provides imagery research, organization and curating services assisting retired NASA personnel in preparing speech presentations and publications.
If you liked this interview, be sure to check out ourinterview with the lead engineer at NASA’s Virtual Reality Lab!
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