At 7:28PM on October 4th, 1957 a rocket screeched into the sky above the Soviet Union, releasing its payload into low orbit and granting the world its very first artificial satellite.

Sputnik was revolutionary for any number of reasons – many of which we in America begrudgingly ignore, like successful Soviet trips to Venus, because we saw their victories as losses at the time, and because the United States ultimately took home the heavyweight title by sending six manned missions to the surface of the moon.

In the years since, however, manned missions to the outer reaches of space have been all but scrapped and we find ourselves, once again, looking at a manned mission to the moon like it’s something we’ll have to plan for decades in advance.  The thing is, state-owned space programs may have stagnated over the past thirty years or so, but the private sector just got cooking – and in just a few short years they have nearly caught up with the capabilities of organizations like NASA and Russia’s Roscosmos.  Having so many new names in the space game over the coming decades could likely mean a new era in space travel – but it will certainly mean more traffic in the skies above our heads.

While many of us aren’t familiar with the intricacies of planning a rocket launch and satellite deployment, or establishing a long-term orbit once the satellite is released… most of us are pretty familiar with traffic.  At best, it can be frustrating, and at worst it can be incredibly dangerous.