Here’s the vision: Launch a robotic mechanic outfitted with a toolkit that can rendezvous with defunct satellites and mine them for parts. The plan also calls for the separate launch of minisatellites. The robotic mechanic would then string together the minisatellites and old satellite parts to create a new communication system.
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is spending $180 million to test technologies that could make this possible. It has 140 satellites to chose from.