Steve Wozniak’s Privateer Partners with Top Telescope Maker Celestron to Crowdsource Satellite and Space Junk Tracking
November 1, 2022
This partnership will empower millions of amateur astronomers to contribute to Privateer’s open data platform, creating the world’s largest optical space sensor network
Maui, Hawaii, November 1, 2022 – Privateer Space, the data and intelligence platform powering the future of space sustainability, today announced its partnership with Celestron, the world’s #1 telescope maker, allowing Celestron telescope owners to participate in Privateer’s work in accurately tracking the thousands of human-made objects in Earth orbit.
By crowdsourcing the transparency and predictability of space, Privateer will be able to provide more accurate locations of objects in space and share those critical data through the Wayfinder platform, while Celestron users will be able to participate firsthand in keeping space safe and accessible for all humankind.
With more satellites and rockets being launched into space nearly every day, the quantity of objects in orbit continues to grow at unprecedented scale. The partnership with Privateer will allow Celestron users to use their at-home telescopes for more than stargazing, providing much-needed data that will improve our collective understanding of where objects are located at any given time, in Low Earth Orbit and beyond. This massive data set will add further accuracy to Privateer’s newly redesigned Wayfinder, an open-access and near real-time visualization of satellites and debris in Earth orbit.
“My career has been built on advocating for transparency, predictability, and accountability in space. I’ve been working to recruit empathy for space environmentalism for quite some time, and I’ve found that people understand the challenge we face, but they feel paralyzed,” said Dr. Moriba Jah, co-founder and chief scientist of Privateer. “Now, our partnership with Celestron is giving people that power. Combining Celestron’s telescopes with our recently launched Wayfinder 2.0, anyone can easily become an active steward of the space environment.”
Currently, only 27,000 pieces of space debris are being tracked by the Department of Defense’s global Space Surveillance Network. However, it is estimated that the actual amount of debris in space is closer to 100 million. Not only is much of the debris not being tracked, the ones that are monitored often face discrepancies of its actual location. While many radars and telescopes can detect objects in space, they are often unable to track them long enough to accurately and precisely determine their orbits, thus leaving much to guess.
“Since Celestron was founded in 1960, it’s been our goal to make the wonder of the night sky accessible to everyone,” said Celestron CEO, Corey Lee. “Through this exciting partnership with Privateer, we add a new mission: to make space environmentalism accessible to everyone. Celestron telescope owners will play a major role in protecting Earth’s orbital highways by participating in the largest optical space sensor network.”
As Privateer and Celestron develop and roll out this capability, the two companies invite others who share their vision for a sustainable future in space to join this growing global movement and collaborate.
Privateer powers the applications that build the new space economy. By mapping satellites and debris in Earth orbit with unprecedented accuracy and transparency, Privateer is making space predictable and safe, paving the way for the rapid growth of space exploration and commerce.
Privateer is the latest venture founded by Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, Ripcord CEO Alex Fielding, and University of Texas at Austin professor Dr. Moriba Jah.
Proudly headquartered on Maui, Privateer hopes to honor the native Hawaiian traditions of environmental stewardship by extending them to humanity’s next frontier.
To learn more, please visit https://mission.privateer.com.
To learn more about Privateer’s Wayfinder application, please visit https://www.privateer.com/.
Praytell for Privateer
Celestron envisions a global community where astronomy is accessible to everyone. More than 60 years ago, Celestron’s founder Tom Johnson invented a method to mass-produce the Schmidt corrector plate, making large telescopes available for amateurs to explore the Universe. Since then, the California-based company has grown to become the world’s most recognized telescope brand and a major provider of advanced optics for educational institutions and other professional applications. Its groundbreaking Rowe-Ackermann Schmidt Astrograph (RASA), launched in 2014, has revolutionized space surveillance, allowing private companies to track small objects from the ground for a fraction of the cost of prior technologies. To learn more about Celestron’s products and innovations, visit Celestron.com.
LA Tech House for Celestron