The Defense Advance Research Projects Agency (DARPA, for short) now wishes to take recycling to a whole other level, and plans on sending robots into space with the sole purpose of collecting dead satellites.
Apparently, as many as 1,300 “retired” satellites are presently orbiting the Earth, and many of their components can be retrieved and used to manufacture other items.
Not only would this help clean up the space junk floating in our planet's proximity, but it would also save governments some money when it comes to space exploration.
reports that this recycling program (which could be launched by DARPA as early as the year 2015) is to be referred to as the Phoenix project, and that the parts collected from these dead satellites will most likely be used to build new ones.
Still, there are some who claim that, since space junk is constantly exposed to radiation and extreme conditions, the costs could eventually more than outweigh the benefits.