back to article Should space be a biz-free zone? Join us on June 22 to find out

Wait. Can you hear it? Yes, it’s final countdown for The Register Summer lecture series, bringing space and robots to a connected home near you. Actually, the venue is the Yorkshire Grey, just down the road from the Reg offices. But we can definitely guarantee spending an evening with us will leave you a lot more clued up our …

  1. Alexander J. Martin
    1. AceRimmer1980

      Fake goats

      Capricorn One

  2. eesiginfo

    Sounds like a good event

    ... though the question may be a little simplistic.

    With communication satellites surrounding the planet, not to mention the business support infrastructure creating the hardware and software..... space is already a business zone.

    I think that the big question is, how can our orbital sphere be managed, and kept clear of debris.

    Apparently the Chinese destruction of their satellite has created a chain reaction of materials hitting other materials.... with the individual debris getting smaller, yet multiplying.

    It seems that we as humans, just can't keep our backyard's clean.

    Hmm, developing a fleet of vacuum bots might make somebody a few quid.

    1. Slx

      Re: Sounds like a good event

      Now there's a challenge... A vacuum cleaner in a total vacuum.

      It's actually a bigger problem than you'd think as it's very hard to pick up small pieces of anything in space as they're not in any fluid/gas, so moving them isn't easy unless you were able to create an artificial gravity well.

      You could pick up magnetisable metal but, how much of a satellite is likely to be made out of cast iron?

      1. Rol Silver badge

        Re: Sounds like a good event

        A large wedge shaped hulk could orbit the Earth smashing into the debris.

        If the angle of the wedge is properly calculated the debris would be bounced out of orbit, straight into the atmosphere, where it will burn up.

        Additionally the impacts could be used to maintain the orbit of the wedge and even adjust its trajectory.

        Force every nation that is responsible for trashing space to contribute towards a fleet of them.

        1. Bronek Kozicki Silver badge

          Re: Sounds like a good event

          It's a good plan, except for the "large" part. It would have to be not only very, very large but also very, very strong and very, very heavy. All of those are exact opposite of things which are not-so-extraordinary-expensive to get into orbit.

          Here is alternative plan - very light craft with ion propulsion, able reaching delta V with minimal expenditure of propellant.

  3. johnwerneken

    Business is the only decent part of modern civilization

    Business is the only decent part of modern civilization. The only part run for the benefit of the people and largely controlled by the people. People deciding what to purchase largely controls what's provided and what's profitable; what's profitable and where people choose to invest largely controls what gets done next.

    The only point in going off-Earth is to enable additional goods, services, energy, materials, and profit.

    1. Robert Helpmann?? Silver badge
      Childcatcher

      Re: Business is the only decent part of modern civilization

      The only point in going off-Earth is to enable additional goods, services, energy, materials, and profit.

      While I disagree that it is the only reason to get off the planet (colonization, tourism and basic scientific research all come to mind as good reasons to escape the chains of our planet's surface), having a business reason to get into space will certainly help drive and inform efforts to do so.

    2. MD Rackham

      Re: Business is the only decent part of modern civilization

      Wow. Somebody's been drinking the Kool-Aid.

    3. Rol Silver badge

      Re: Business is the only decent part of modern civilization

      "People deciding what to purchase" would be an excellent idea, if only our retailers and advertisers would oblige, instead of cramming their stores with the things they want us to buy.

      Retail is all about deception and has nothing whatsoever to do with providing a service to humanity.

      Like the hypocrisy of our retailers slanting Chinese goods because Jo public is buying them directly from China, when their stores are crammed with nothing but Chinese goods.

      If the free market actually worked, landfills would be full of Betamax video recorders, instead of the much inferior VHS, that got pushed on to an unwary public.

      And for me the whole point of going off Earth is to edge humanities bets in case this rock befalls some unavoidable tragedy.

      1. W4YBO

        Re: Business is the only decent part of modern civilization

        Pushed? VHS won because early Betamax tapes wouldn't hold a whole movie.

  4. Chris G Silver badge

    VCs

    From what I have seen of one or two Venture Capitalists, I can recommend a decaying orbit for their first experience of space. Sell it as ' You are guaranteed to get back down to Earth'.

    But think of a trendy name for it.

  5. ecofeco Silver badge

    Er, biz free?

    Then what are those several odd thousands commercial satellites doing up there? Primping?

  6. Gary 24
    Pint

    If you let businesses in space...

    You end up with Weyland-Utani corporation, look how that ended up for the Nostromo?!

    Damn you ash!

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