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In Pictures: The 31 weirdest, wackiest and coolest...
Scientists at DARPA say there are some 1,300 satellites worth over $300 billion sitting out in Earth's geostationary orbit (GEO) that could be retrofitted or harvested for new communications roles and it designed a program called Phoenix which it says would use a squadron "satlets" and a larger tender craft to grab out-of-commission satellites and retrofit or retrieve them for parts or reuse. DARPA this year concluded some of the most critical design tests of the Phoenix program - designing the algorithms that would help these satlets approach and tumble in sequence with the system they are trying to catch.
In Pictures: The 31 weirdest, wackiest and coolest sci/tech stories of 2012