After initially announcing the Phoenix program in October 2011 the R&D behemoth that is DARPA has more news relating to their Wombles in Space Program. Read the previous Highpants article “The Borg Satellites of DARPA’s Phoenix Program” for further background.
DARPA’s Phoenix program for the uninitiated involves construction of special class of utilitarian satellite that would service, repair and recycle already orbiting satellites. With so much of our modern world reliant on satellites DARPA’s Phoenix program could have huge implications for many industries.
The Phoenix satellites have lofty goals ahead of them. Being able to build new satellites from parts donated by decommissioned space junk is just the beginning. They will need to display a Wombles level of crafty in order to recycle, as well as repair satellites with spare parts from old satellites. Phoenix is an ambitious and audacious plan, all to be executed like a ballet at 20,000 miles high.
Continue reading The Phoenix Program Update, Borg Satellite Testing…
And now for a little stimulation from the mental gymnasium. BB presents an interesting snippet on the Swiss solution for space junk. The Swiss in Space.
A Swiss team of scientist has initiated the CleanSpace One project. In a fit of obsessive compulsive cleaning the Swiss have had enough of everyone leaving their junk in low earth orbit and have taken it upon themselves to clean up our act. The Swiss Space Center at EPFL has indeed this week announced the their intentions. The CleanSpace One project has been initiated to develop and build the first installment of a family of satellites specially designed to clean up space debris.
“It has become essential to be aware of the existence of this debris and the risks that are run by its proliferation,” says Claude Nicollier, astronaut and EPFL professor. To move beyond mere rhetoric and take immediate action to get this stuff out of orbit, the Swiss Space Center at EPFL is launching CleanSpace One, a project to build the first prototype in a family of “de-orbiting” satellites.
Continue reading Swiss CleanSpace One, The Swiss Getting All OCD On Our Space Junk!…