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A Tether in Space

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#70801 by @ 29.03.2005 00:00 - nach oben -
A Tether in Space


Explanation:
One of the greatest unrequited legends of
outer space is the tether.

Tethers,
long strands of material, hold the
promise of
stabilizing satellites,
generating electricity, and allowing
easy transportation.

Possibly the most
extreme vision
of the space tether is the
space elevator popularized by
Arthur C. Clarke, where a
tether is constructed that connects the ground to
geosynchronous orbit.

One problem is strength - it is difficult
to make a long useful tether that does not snap.

To help realize more of the tremendous potential of
space tethers, NASA and the
SpaceWard Foundation
have issued the
Centennial Tether Challenge,
promising a monetary reward for the best space tether that exceeds a minimum standard.

Pictured above is the deployment of the
Tethered Satellite System 1 (TSS-1) by the
space shuttle Altantis in 1992.

Like other tested tethers,
TSS-1 failed to live up to its promise, although many
valuable lessons were learned.




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