Scott Weintraub, chief executive officer of Weintraus, Inc., a precision orbital placement company located in Embry-Riddle’s John Mica Engineering and Aerospace Innovation Complex, in November became one of two winners of a major Space Florida innovation prize.
Weintraub’s company received a $25,000 award at the 2017 Florida VentureTech Showcase. The competition involved 17 Florida-based companies, from a pool of more than 70 applicants. Weintraub was among 17 finalists who made presentations to a group of investors and entrepreneurs.
Weintraus, Inc., has been developing a reusable space tug, Hercules II, that it says will be “capable of capturing, servicing, refueling and maneuvering multiple spacecraft in orbit.”
Currently, said Weintraub, an Embry-Riddle graduate, “Spacecraft are designed to die and not to be reused. It’s a very expensive proposition to send up millions or billion dollar spacecraft. If your spacecraft malfunctions, you just lost that money.”
Further, he added, this “disposable” approach to space exploration has resulted in the proliferation of space debris. According to NASA, “More than 500,000 pieces of debris or `space junk’ are tracked as they orbit the Earth” at speeds up to 17,500 mph.
“Now, there’s a push to design spacecraft with the intent to reuse them and fix them in space,” he said. “Our company wants to help lead that revolution, to push for the manufacture of satellites that can be serviced by space tugs.”
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