Satellite Sinking
Extravaganza

In collaboration with:

A Unity game prototype

Current space problem lies with increasing amount of space debris. The satellite recycling extravaganza uses space debris and turns into a grand tourist experience, where every country can actively engage. The Satellite Sinking Extravaganza game application for mobile devices is the out come of design thinking. It is to promote the bigger concept of Satellite Recycling Extravaganza, the resort concept located in the pacific spacecraft cemetery, and the increasing danger of space debris.

Satellite Sinking
Extravaganza

In collaboration with:

A Unity game prototype

Current space problem lies with increasing amount of space debris. The satellite recycling extravaganza uses space debris and turns into a grand tourist experience, where every country can actively engage. The Satellite Sinking Extravaganza game application for mobile devices is the out come of design thinking. It is to promote the bigger concept of Satellite Recycling Extravaganza, the resort concept located in the pacific spacecraft cemetery, and the increasing danger of space debris.

Rules of The Game

1. Sink down eight defunct satellites (red satellites) back to Earth in 5 seconds.

2. Avoid clicking nuclear power charged space debris (green satellites).

Based on Actual Facts

1. Eight satellites will be produced each year in the game, the number is based on the 75 satellites we launch every year.

2. Satellites become non-functional after 8 years, average lifespan of satellites. 

3. By year 2005, gamers will try to avoid 13 nuclear reactor fuel cores, 8 thermoelectric generators, and 32 nuclear reactors that threats Earth above 1,700 km.

4. International Space Station appears after year 1998.

The simplicity of Satellite Sinking Extravaganza (SSE) makes it accessible to all ages and the challenge to set new record gives a lasting appeal to the gamers. By the end of the game people will be able to see the list of satellites they have brought down. This list will go to our database and will be used to determine the featuring satellites in the semi annual Satellites Recycling Extravaganza(SRE). Through the game people will be introduce to interesting facts, alarm of the danger of space debris, and the significance of SRE program.

The New Space Problem

Satellites are important assets to our daily life. Through the technology we benefit through communications, information, and exploration. To reach the quality of service we are receiving, we have launched over 6600 satellites. Currently 3600 remains orbiting Earth and out of those satellites numbers there are about 560 satellites that are operational. However satellites are small relative to Earth, many nations did not consider it as a big threat. Non-functioning satellites freely roam Earth with their new name, space debris. There are three threat that space debris might bring to human. First, space debris eventually loses its momentum and falls back to Earth. According to NASA, an average of one cataloged piece of debris has fallen back to Earth each day for the past 50 years. Most space debris have burned up in entering the atmosphere, yet in few occasions larger objects has reached ground. Even though there are not current significant property damage for human, no one can assure it for the future.

Second, its the collision between debris and satellites. There has been disastrous incident such as defunct Russian satellite colliding with a functional U.S. Iridium commercial satellite in year 2009. The collision has created two thousand additional trackable space debris. This two threat leads to the finally threat, the Kessler effect, the scenarios which Earth orbit becomes dense in space debris that will eventually make a hostile environment for satellites or space exploration.

The United States Space Surveillance Network (SNN) has been tracking these space debris that are 10 centimeters in diameter or larger. As of year 2013 it is estimated that there are more than 500,000 pieces of debris orbiting Earth in speed of 17,500 meters per hour. Numbers increases drastically since these objects collide with each other and multiply.

The Satellite Recycling Extravaganza

Iridium Satellite Constellation inspired in organizing the Satellite Recycle Extravaganza. The shape of the Iridium satellites' reflective antennas, the satellites focus sunlight on a small area of the Earth's surface in an incidental manner. This results in an effect called Iridium flares, where the satellite momentarily appears as one of the brightest objects in the night sky. Currently there are phone applications and instructions that assist on people tracking and seeing this phenomena.

We have the technology to track significant amount of space debris and to shoot a satellite back to Earth. These technology brought to a conclusion that the most logical way of keeping the orbit clean was to bring satellites back to Earth. Inspired by Iridium flares, I thought of creating a satellite shower (that mimics comet shower) that will drop series of non-functioning or soon to be satellites back to earth. To be more precise, these satellites will be dropped to the spacecraft cemetery, located in the pacific ocean. Then there would be an artificial island resort that will feature the event, which will lead to a tourism.

Because there are many elements that are involved with the Satellite Recycling Extravaganza, first I concentrated in visualizing the problem through Unity game engine. The humorous exaggerated sized of the space debris later became an interactive game and fitted in to the content of smart phone game that will advertise the opening of the whole SRE experience.