Colorado company removes junk and leftover debris from outer space

Space junk can interfere with earth communications
Posted at 4:21 PM, Jun 06, 2018

LONGMONT, Colo. -- A Longmont business deals with clean up jobs, far from the mountains of Colorado.

"Basically, anything in space, if it's not brought down, will eventually be space junk," said Doug Campbell, founder of Roccor. The Longmont-based company has developed a niche business cleaning up debris left among the stars.

"Nothing lasts forever in space. So it's everything from old satellites that are dead to launch vehicle parts things like that,” he said.

From their headquarters, high tech devices are constructed, and shot up into space. Special sheet-like devices made of carbon sweep up space junk, and push it into the atmosphere where it will burn.

The problem up above is significant with about 8,000 tons orbiting the earth. It's growing by 200 tons per year.

Services like the one Roccor provides are becoming a necessity as technology becomes more space-centered.

"Your cable television, you internet, your cell phone will eventually all be in space," said Campbell. "If you don't clean up the junk that's up there, eventually that space, that real estate will become unusable."

As the junk yard grows, so does the company.

Founded in 2011, it now employs 35 people…with gross revenue in the millions.

Their clients: satellite operators who need the debris to dissipate, so there's room for more technological advancement in the future.