[amsat-bb] AMSAT Bird for DARPA Phoenix project?

Gregory Beat gregory.beat at comcast.net
Wed Nov 6 15:08:32 PST 2013

DARPA Press Release yesterday, SpaceNews:


WASHINGTON — The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) hopes to narrow a list of about 140 retired satellites down to 10 finalists to be the subject of its first on-orbit operation in an experimental satellite servicing and salvaging project, an agency official said Nov. 4.

Known as Phoenix, the goal of the program is to develop a maneuverable spacecraft equipped with a dexterous robotic arm to salvage useful components from retired communications satellites. Some have likened the project to performing on-orbit surgery.

David Barnhart, program manager of DARPA’s Tactical Technology Office, said the agency is looking for satellites of all sizes that are in a low-inclination orbits and that are not spinning too fast. The agency hopes to choose the finalists before the end of 2014 and conduct a demonstration sometime in 2016.


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