Junk Yard dog
Junk Yard Dog wasn’t a very space-oriented name for a spaceship, but it was descriptive of it’s mission. The Junk Yard Dog was a spaceship built and commissioned to clean up the space junk orbiting the earth since the beginning of the space program. Space junk consists of over a million pieces of objects ranging from paint flecks to much larger decades-old, inoperative spacecraft. When it became impossible to avoid a collision with space junk, governments began commissioning contractors to start collecting and removing the space junk.
Commander Zoe Simonson owned the Junk Yard Dog. She was one of the first to get a government contract for space junk removal. Now she has plenty of competitors. The Dog was equipped with four Canadarms or Remote Manipulator Systems or RMS, a series of robotic arms and claws used to capture space junk. One pair was mounted on the front and a second pair was inside the payload bay. Everyone just called them arms.
What’s our payload now?” Zoe asked the Arm Operator, Walt Stawski.
“The cargo bay is nearly full, Commander.” Walt replied. “We can head back to the space barrage any time. The barrage is three quarters full.”
“Any how much is that at current market prices?”
“We’re just shy of the $10M we need to break even,” Walt answered.
“Let’s keep at it for a while,” Zoe said. “We need to make a profit. Where is my science officer, Rudy?”
“Rudy is working in the bay cutting up junk to make more room.”
“Tell him to get back inside,” Zoe commanded. “We’re going hunting. Cyril, find me something valuable.”
“Yes, Commander,” Cyril the pilot answered. Thirty minutes later something caught Cyril’s eye. “Commander, I think I found a satellite.”
“Great. Pull it up on the screen,” Zoe answered. Everyone looked at the satellite on the screen. “It looks kinda small.”
‘Yea, it’s only about fifteen inches in diameter,” Cyril answered.
“Is Rudy inside?” Zoe asked.
“I’m right here, Commander,” Rudy answered. “I’m checking this satellite against all registered satellites.” No one spoke for a few minutes. “Nothing is coming up so far. It could be unregistered because it was launched prior to registration being required or it may be a spy satellite.”
“I don’t think it’s a spy,” suggested Zoe. “Spy satellites usually are much bigger and covered in antennae. This looks like a basketball—smooth as a baby bottom. Okay, let’s snag it. Cyril, take us in closer slowly. Walt, get ready to grip it with the front arms.”