Apple co-founder to create Uber analog for satellites

The space startup Privateer, founded by Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, aims to provide the general public with access to satellites through a global online marketplace. First of all, satellite data is an important resource for government agencies. But the company aims to develop a way through which individuals will also be able to access them with a new convenient payment method, which can potentially reduce the cost of images to USD 50, whereas the current average cost is about 10 times higher. 

The essence of the startup idea is quite simple. Customers interested in obtaining regional satellite data will be able to jointly cover the costs of accessing the nearest satellite, as well as collecting and processing information. Privateer is going to use a variety of software tools to assist satellite operators in providing customers with the best regional data, including the use of artificial intelligence. In addition, the company has introduced a spacecraft called Pono, which has specialized equipment to improve data processing by satellites.

This initiative means that satellite operators will no longer be forced to transmit data and perform calculations on their own. Instead, the Pono spacecraft will be able to receive and process them while remaining in orbit. According to Privateer, the Pono satellite module is planned to be launched into orbit by a Falcon 9 rocket (SpaceX) in December 2023 And now the second prototype of Pono is under development and will probably be launched next year, and full operation will begin in 2025.

Steve Wozniak compared the concept of the Privateer marketplace in space with Uber in the car market.

The company will use its own application called Wayfinder as a showcase for its marketplace. Now it already serves to track the movement of satellites and analyze possible collisions. This application will be available to Privateer end users, including Global 2K, commercial companies, individual developers and researchers.

About Privateer startup

Privateer, founded by Wozniak in collaboration with Alex Fielding in 2021, is designed not only to clean up low Earth orbits, which have now turned into a landfill with millions of pieces of space debris. The company has also always had an ambitious goal to create “Google Maps of Space,” as Fielding noted in an interview with TechCrunch.

Steve Wozniak has compared the concept of the marketplace with what Uber is already doing in the car market, and in his blog on the Privateer website expressed the hope that such a model would help reduce the number of individual satellites launched into orbit. 

Apple co-founder and founder of the startup Privateer Steve Wozniak. Photo: AP

“Building a data ride-sharing economy in and from space, paired with our on-orbit AI, enables Privateer to give away the safety, sustainability, and optimization technology that helps earn satellite operators more customers while giving a global user base a way to access space that traditionally has been reserved for large governments only. This is similar to when GPS technology became available to the masses and we expect it to have a similar impact,” Wozniak noted in his blog.

Earlier we reported on how Maxar Technologies created a model of the Earth for the US military.

According to Gizmodo

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