Space Recycling Could Be Near.

Recycling in space is not that far away. United States Department of defence says it is trying to find ways to recycle the space junk that is at thousands of miles above the Earth. There is some valuable junk up there and it could produce lots of valuable new satellite parts.

Computer Image of Space Junk in Orbit

Computer Image of Space Junk in Orbit

At this time, there is more than $300 billion worth of satellites in the geosynchronous orbit (GEO) located 22,000 miles above the Earth, but many have reached end-of-life and are now just hanging out in what’s known as “graveyard” orbit.

Parts of satellites in orbit that are still functioning could be included into new space Systems relatively inexpensively. They have given this project the codenamePhoenix.

Project Phoenix

Project Phoenix

A robot mechanical like vehicle with grasping arms and remote vision systems would reclaim still working antennas from retired working satellites. The satellite would be around 22,000 miles above the Earth and the antenna would then be attached to small nano satellites that would be launched cheaply from the Earth.

Antennas in particular are big and bulky and therefore require a lot of rocket fuel and therefore expense to get them into orbit.

This could be the start of bigger commercial schemes in the future including mining on the moon.

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  1. [...] Разговоры о том, что неплохо бы как следует почистить окрестности нашей планеты, идут уже давно. Разработки специальных спутников-мусоросборщиков ведутся в России и США. Одна из таких разработок — проект «Феникс», который активно прорабатывается в агентстве передовых научных разработок DARPA. Настолько активно, что о нем начали активно писать даже в блогах, в частности, постом о «Фениксе» отметился Крис Данн (Chris Dunn) в Weirdwarp. [...]

  2. chris wilhelm says:

    Hi Chris, One question on this subject – what is the legal ownership status of this space junk? Do you think that people/companies will “steal / borrow” other peoples satellites to recycle them without telling them… How would they know anyway. This could have some interesting implications.
    Best regards, Chris

  3. Chris Dann says:

    Good point, I’m not sure.

  4. oilpunk says:

    first the ocean now space?

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