MrSeb writes: "Just in time for Halloween, DARPA has published details of a new satellite that will allow scientists to create Frankensteinian satellites out of dead communications equipment currently orbiting the Earth. Right now there are about 19,000 different pieces of space debris in both low and high orbit around the planet, creating a dangerous scenario for both space flight and expensive items like the Hubble space telescope. Aptly named Phoenix, the idea is simple with a complex implementation. Using re-purposed robot arms from assembly lines and surgery units to create the scavenger bot, Phoenix will be shot into space and placed in the “graveyard” orbit that all the dead satellites are on as well. From there, it will attach to these units, and cut away different components to be used to create new, working units to be placed back into useful service. Phoenix is slated to launch in 2015 for testing, but there are some hurdles to its success, namely the Outer Space Treaty that states that an object launched into orbit remains the property of the country that put it there."
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