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Comments on Non-Conductive Tethers - Free Artificial Gravity In Orbit
Tethers connecting satellites or space stations have some interesting effects even if they are not conductive - a non-conductive tether made of a very strong, light material like Kevlar can be used to connect two objects in orbit, one farther away fr (Read the complete story)

"I discussed this with a friend back in 1999. As proposed this is not stable. (he described a long tether to replace a space elevator) If the assembly is spun about the center of gravity so as to match the obital period and constant corrections are made to compensate for LEO atmospheric drag, then maybe. However, plotting the two orbits shows that the spin will soon be absorbed by tidal force. Of course as I am not a scientist I could be wrong."
(icecycle 11/9/2004 7:49:32 AM)
"Um, one small problem. There is no *centrifugal* force. For an object spinning in a plane, the two balanced forces are the forward velocity (orbital speed) and *centripetal* force, which pulls the object back towards the center. Gravity functions as the centripetal force, preventing a satellite from flinging out into space. The orbital radius is determined by the tangential velocity of the object. Centrifugal force is a perceived force felt by an observer who is in the orbiting object. As his frame of motion is under constant (and changing) acceleration, normal Newtonian laws would not stricty apply. From the observer's point of view, there is an outward force. From a point of view stationary to the central, orbited, object, it is obvious the only forces are towards the orbited object, and forward."
(IJT 7/13/2005 10:23:40 AM)
"Boy, how we strain at gnats and stumble over hippopatamie! On your story, free artificial gravity in orbit, just have the habitat at one end of a tether arrangement and a counterweight or another habitat on the other end. For stability and control, have a net of cables between, attached across to booms to either side of each object, booms estended in the plane of rotation. Your gee force at about whatever level you want as a function of centrifugality. "
(Win Wenger 12/5/2006 2:29:03 PM)

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