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Photos: DARPA's Futuristic Phoenix Satellite Recycling Project

DARPA Phoenix Artist's Concept

DARPA

Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) describes the Phoenix program: "The goal of the Phoenix program is to develop and demonstrate technologies to cooperatively harvest and re-use valuable components from retired, nonworking satellites in GEO and demonstrate the ability to create new space systems at greatly reduced cost."

DARPA Phoenix Satellite Tender Services Nonworking Satellite

DARPA

An illustration shows how the proposed DARPA satellite tender would modify a nonworking satellite on orbit.

DARPA Phoenix Viewscreen Concept

DARPA

A DARPA illustration appears to depict a viewscreen with graphics overlaid showing the satellite tender (left) approaching a non-working satellite.

DARPA's Proposed Phoenix Satellite Tender

DARPA

DARPA's Proposed Phoenix satellite tender nears a satellite in orbit.

DARPA's Proposed Phoenix Satellite Tender at Work

DARPA

An artist's illustration shows how DARPA's proposed satellite tender may modify a satellite on orbit.

DARPA's Proposed Phoenix Program Spacecraft

DARPA

An artist's illustration shows DARPA's proposed Phoenix program spacecraft working in space.

DARPA's Proposed Phoenix Program Spacecraft Works on a Satellite

DARPA

An artist's illustration shows DARPA's proposed Phoenix program spacecraft approaching a satellite in orbit.

A Different Satellite Servicing Proposal

ViviSat/ATK

ViviSat and ATK are developing a spacecraft, called the Mission Extension Vehicle (MEV) to dock to satellites in orbit, and then use its own thrusters to provide propulsion and attitude control.

An Earlier Proposed Satellite Servicing Vehicle

DARPA.

An artist's illustration of DARPA's Orbital Express spacecraft in orbit, with the ASTRO servicing vehicle (left) bearing down on NextSat.

Another Proposed Satellite Servicing Spacecraft

MacDONALD, DETTWILER AND ASSOCIATES LTD.

An artist's conception of how the SIS mobile space gas station will refuel client satellites on orbit.

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