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Avi Schiffman & team mates demonstrate Debris Hunters at NASA SpaceApps Challenge 2019

The Seattle chapter of the 2019 NASA SpaceApps Challenge was an enormously fun and educational event.

My team, The Debris Hunters, created an educational 3D arcade shooter where players destroy space debris with a variety of tools including laser, harpoons and more. The goal of the project was to increase public awareness of orbital debris and enable them to take action.

The problem of orbital debris explained

The primary problem of orbital debris: bits of metal and paint break off of satellites and spacecraft in orbit and have nowhere to go: they keep spinning around Earth at high velocity and eventually damage our orbital infrastructure and injure astronauts working in orbit. The worst-case scenario of orbital debris is Kessler Syndrome: an unstoppable cascade of orbital collisions that destroy all infrastructure in space — trillions of dollars of investment.

The secondary problem of orbital debris: not enough people know about it, and there’s no international momentum behind controlling it.

That’s why it’s important to find ways to raise awareness of orbital debris and identify paths to remediating the problem. Enter: The Debris Hunters.

Debris Hunters: The Game

The Debris Hunters - Game interface - 2019Components of the MVP

  1. Player is positioned on a space station in orbit around Earth Read the rest of this entry »