Once fully realized, Darpa envisions the Phoenix program, which the agency wants to fully demonstrate by 2015, working something like this. First, a servicing satellite — complete with mechanical arms and other “unique tools” designed specifically for the program — would be launched into geosynchronous orbit (GEO). After that, the agency wants to launch an array of what they call “satlets” — wee, bare-bones satellites — to meet up with, and be stored by, the program’s primary satellite.

From there, the satellite posse would transfer to what’s known as GEO’s “graveyard” orbit — where non-functioning satellites linger — and start picking off antennas and other useful parts. Once an antenna is removed from its former satellite, it would be affixed to a satlet, which’d act as a controller to move the antenna into position as part of a zombified array of recycled satellite parts.”

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