DARPA Takes Aim at Space Junk

DARPA Takes Aim at Space Junk

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The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency seeks help solving new technical challenges in an existing program aimed at refurbishing satellites that are already in orbit.

DARPA’s Phoenix program is exploring the feasibility of harvesting components from retired satellites, sometimes called space junk, and reusing them. The agency will hold a conference on Feb. 8 in conjunction with a formal announcement of the five technical challenge areas. The program aims to “improve the economics and lower the cost of space systems,” said program manager David Barnhart. “If you have the ability to use what is up there, you might be able to do it at lower cost.”

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