Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) co-founder Steve Wozniak has founded a space company called Privateer, though its main mission has not yet been made clear. A launch video for the privately owned company, with a website currently in ‘stealth mode’, suggested the chief aim is to “keep space accessible for future generations”, with a separate press release last month suggesting company is “focused on monitoring and cleaning up objects in space”. The man known as ‘Woz’ has promised to share more details at the AMOS (Advanced Maui Optical and Space Surveillance) 2021 conference on Thursday.
The website of Privateer Space only says, “The sky is no longer the limit” and “We are in stealth mode.” It also says the company will be at the Advanced Maui Optical and Space Surveillance Technologies conference in Hawaii that begins today, September 14. No more details about the company have been made available yet.
“We’ll look out for one another. Solve problems together. It isn’t a race, it isn’t a competition or a game. We are not one person, one company, one nation. We’re one planet. We’re explorers. We’re dreamers, risk-takers, engineers, stargazers. We are human and it’s up to us to do what is right and what is good. So here’s to taking care of what we have so that the next generation can be better, together,” the voiceover said.
The company is in stealth mode and we thus know little about its business model, potential customers and potential sources of revenue. Wozniak, who played a key role in developing the Apple I and many early-stage company products, has a reported net worth of $100 million. As such, it’s likely he will be a heavy early investor in the business.
Recently, the race to promote space tourism has heated up with Virgin Galactic’s test flight in which its founder Richard Branson himself travelled to space in July. A week later, Amazon founder Bezos did so in his company Blue Origin’s private spacecraft. And now, Musk’s SpaceX is set to launch an all-civilian space mission on Wednesday, September 15.
The trailer does aim to impress, however, although it’s vague in focus. A narrator boldly summarizes the company’s vision amid dazzling stock pictures of spaceflight and climate change. “This isn’t a race. It isn’t a competition. Or a game. We are not one person, one company, one nation. We are one planet,” the video states, without clearly elucidating what the company plans to do.
The Independent reports at least one Apple person will be on board. “The company has been founded alongside Alex Fielding, who was a member of the first iMac team and founded “Wheels of Zeus” (‘WoZ’) in 2002,” the report stated, referring to a firm that made wireless location trackers.
Woz happens to be Wozniak’s industry nickname. Incidentally, the stock ticker WOZX, first listed in 2020, refers to a cryptocurrency company (Efforce) in which Wozniak is involved as well.
Privateer’s co-founder is Alex Fielding, the founder of robotics company Ripcord and who was also a member of the first iMac team.
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