Wikipedia writes to say
Currently, about 19,000 pieces of debris larger than 5 cm (2.0 in) are tracked, with another 300,000 pieces smaller than 1 cm below 2000 km altitude. For comparison, the International Space Station orbits in the 300–400 km range and both the 2009 collision and 2007 antisat test events occurred at between 800 and 900 km.
So there is some debris out there - most of it unused artifacts. As definitions go, it is debris because it is not in active use. As most users on this site may be aware - the amount of debris is approaching the point we are concerned about it. This is reflected by questions on the subject on this very site.
What I have in mind may be considered naïve, half-baked uh ... lots of adjectives, and adverbs may be here used. There may be logistical issues, and practical problems with the idea - some of which I hope to see in the replies to this post.
Anyway, here goes - debris put to use becomes an asset. After all we have discussed orbital assembly some on this site.
- Can orbital debris be collected, and assembled into a module?
- With Pir due to be modified, and ISS approaching the end of it's operational life could such eventual debris be modified and made into an unmanned craft?
Not part of the main question, but perhaps the module, depending upon what we get, (after all, form isn't relevant to space travel at our present level of technology) could be provided with fuel, and other necessary artifacts to augment Icarus.