satellites stories

DigitalGlobe owns three satellites with big cameras on them, which together have imaged nearly 2.8 billion square kilometers of Earth's surface. You probably don't care about 2.7999 billion of those square kilometers, but that's cool, because DigitalGlobe has picked out the 20 very best little patches of our planet for 2012.
Back in October, we posted about a program DARPA has been working on to rip apart dead satellites and harvest their organs to make new(er) satellites. It seemed more than a little crazy, but the program is now moving forward, with DARPA holding industry conferences and putting down millions of dollars on the idea.
Space junk is getting to be more and more of a problem, but while there have been plenty of serious talks on the subject, the first country to actually go and do something about it may be the Swiss. By 2016, Switzerland plans to launch a "janitor satellite" to start fighting the the space junk problem directly while the rest of us keep twiddling our thumbs.
NASA has a knack for making stuff that lasts a lot longer than it thinks it will. This is a good thing, of course, except that missions are often only funded for a set period of time, and NASA occasionally ends up with perfectly good spacecraft and not enough money to keep them operating. There may be one way to save them, though: giving them away.