Could new satellites be designed to intercept other older functioning artificial satellites or space junk already in orbit to add weight to the new satellite in order to last longer in orbit?

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    $\begingroup$ Adding mass would not slow down orbit decay. You have to improve drag to mass ratio. But only satellites in LEO decay fast. $\endgroup$ – Uwe Dec 18 '18 at 21:28
  • $\begingroup$ @Uwe or small light weight satellites? $\endgroup$ – Muze Dec 18 '18 at 21:30
  • $\begingroup$ @Uwe so yes if the adjoining satellite is in line to the larger satellite not to create more drag? $\endgroup$ – Muze Dec 18 '18 at 21:32
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    $\begingroup$ @Uwe "Adding mass would not slow down orbit decay." isn't really a good way to say it. If you double the mass of a satellite and increase it's drag by 10% of course it will last roughly 40% longer. I think you mean it wouldn't necessarily, in all cases slow down orbit decay, but it certainly could if done in a reasonable way. Stick the mass on the front or back and it won't increase cross-section or drag very much. $\endgroup$ – uhoh Dec 19 '18 at 12:37
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    $\begingroup$ It could help a lot if the "mass" that you add includes a reaction motor, some fuel, and a guidance system. $\endgroup$ – Solomon Slow Dec 19 '18 at 15:08

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