It occurs to me that rotovators used for throwing comm sats to GTO could also help the upper stage re-enter earth's atmosphere at a lower velocity.
1) Rotovator catches upper stage and payload in LEO.
2) Rotovator throws payload to higher orbit.
3) Rotovator drops upper stage into a suborbital orbit.
Step 3) accomplishes two things:
a) It restores some of the orbital momentum the tether lost in catching and tossing the payload.
b) It reduces re-entry velocity of the upper stage. Slower re-entry velocities make recovery and reuse of the upper stage less difficult.
Is this a good idea? Or another hare brained scheme? I'm tossing this out in several venues hoping knowledgeable folks will review it.