Space-borne tethers tethers

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3 Scopus citations


The astronauts onboard the Space Station are busy conducting experiments with the Station's tethered nano-gravity facility-a mobile platform which can be moved up and down a tether to fine-tune the amount of gravitational force present in their experiments. The tether itself is an insulated conducting wire which connects the station to a remote facility orbiting in tandem 50 km above the Station. All is going well until a malfunction in the solar arrays mounted on the Station causes its power system to fail. The batteries will not last until the next Shuttle visit. Without the tether, the astronauts would most likely have to abandon the Station in its emergency escape vehicle. However, the specialist onboard changes the tether configuration to allow it to generate power from its motion across the Earth's magnetic field. In this configuration, the tether provides the Station with large amounts of power, enough to run the station as well as most of its experiments. The extra drag on the station due to this power generation is counteracted by its reboost module.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)47-50
Number of pages4
JournalIEEE Potentials
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1994

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Strategy and Management
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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