October 21st, 2011
06:00 AM ET

Military to take recycling to new heights

From CNN National Security Producer Jennifer Rizzo

The military wants to start a recycling program. In space.

Some 25,000 miles above the Earth lies a satellite graveyard, the resting place for out-of-commission satellites.

The military's research branch is announcing the Phoenix program to find a way to use parts from these retired satellites, especially components like expensive antennas that are often in good working order well after the satellites are retired.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency estimates about 100 of the junkyard satellites, both military and commercial, may have parts that can be repurposed, according to David Barnhart, the agency's program manager.

"If this program is successful, space debris becomes space resource," said Regina Dugan, the agency's director.

The plan is for parts like an antenna to be removed from the dead satellite. Then new technologies and electronics would be robotically placed on the part, in essence creating a new satellite.

"The Phoenix demonstration is tackling the very hard activities and technologies required to 'reuse' an existing on-orbit component, which now exists as a non-functional entity as it is retired," Barnhart said. "The techniques demonstrated will allow for the possibility of future satellites being launched that can take advantage of previously launched satellite components."

The program may show that in the future satellites could be launched without key components like antennas or unfurled solar arrays, and then join with the recycled components in space to for the completed unit.

If successful, the research projects agency claims, the recycling program could save the Defense Department a significant amount of money on launching new satellites. Launch costs, it says, are primarily driven by the weight and volume of antennas.

"Today, satellites are not designed to be reused. Phoenix may enable a new generation of satellites and markets that deal in recycled components, much like any other vehicle or system made on Earth," Barnhart said.

The agency says it will solicit candidate satellites from retired U.S. government-owned and -operated satellites to participate in the program, but will also accept "volunteer" candidates from retired U.S.-based commercial satellites.

Contractors interested in submitting a proposal to be apart of the program can begin the process in December. The agency expects work on the technology to begin early in 2012, with a demonstration not projected to occur until 2015.

Post by:
Filed under: DARPA
soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. Rosalina Beuerle

    Excellent site. Plenty of useful info here. I am sending it to some friends ans also sharing in delicious. And naturally, thank you to your sweat!


    March 4, 2021 at 10:19 am | Reply
  2. 1000000GSA Backlinks

    I will drive 20000 google organic visitors using targeted keywords: https://www.seoclerk.com/Traffic/833336/I-will-drive-20000-google-organic-visitors-using-targeted-keywords


    February 16, 2021 at 8:27 am | Reply
  3. Faye Stanciel

    Earn $300/Day With Our Passive Income System – Best Autopilot income system 2021


    February 6, 2021 at 9:35 am | Reply
  4. Francis Fennig

    Get Our Passive Income System – Step 1: Get our ready made niche websites, Step 2: Run our Premium Unlimited Traffic Step 3: Setup your Paypal account. Then just sit back and relax while you watch your paypal account receiving payments during the whole day 100 in auto pilot.


    February 5, 2021 at 7:43 am | Reply
  5. Private detective in spain

    I blog frequently and I genuinely thank you for your information.
    The article has really peaked my interest. I'm going to
    bookmark your website and keep checking for new information about once a week.
    I subscribed to your Feed too.

    February 5, 2021 at 6:20 am | Reply
  6. Tarra Philbin

    Social network traffic Facebook likes Twitter Followers Instagram Followers and much more


    January 27, 2021 at 11:36 pm | Reply
  7. bitcoin to paypal

    Transfer from bitcoin to paypal very fast and low cost.


    December 15, 2020 at 7:12 pm | Reply
  8. detectives privados las palmas

    detectives privados estepona


    December 10, 2020 at 5:17 am | Reply
  9. Bubble Shooter

    This article was stored as a favorite :), I really like your site!

    January 26, 2012 at 3:51 am | Reply
  10. Latanya

    The guidelines you provided listed below are extremely precious. It been found this type of pleasurable surprise to obtain that expecting me when I woke up today. They're constantly to the issue easy to learn. Thanks a large amount for any valuable ideas you've got shared right here.

    November 30, 2011 at 7:10 pm | Reply

Leave a Reply to Private detective in spain


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.