Comments on Terminator Tether - EDT Solution To Space Debris Update
Studies have shown that low Earth orbit is not a limitless resource and should be managed more carefully. Some sort of debris-mitigation measures are needed to solve the problem of old, unusable satellites and space junk. (Read
the complete story)
|"TUI tested their concepts on Zero Gravity Corporation's modified 727, the G-FORCE ONE. If you are interested in conducting microgravity research, log onto http://www.NoGravity.com"
(Tim Bailey 11/17/2004 9:40:38 PM)
|"How likely is this technology to be more reliable and work at the end of a satellite's life than a de-orbit burn from a simple rocket? How does it's mass compare to that of the rocket?"
(Jerry Hollombe 12/4/2004 10:11:44 PM)
|"Great questions, Jerry; here are the answers from Dr. Robert Hoyt:
1. How likely is this technology to be more reliable and work at the end of
>a satellite's life than a de-orbit burn from a simple rocket?
The rocket itself can be quite simple, but remember that in order to
deorbit a spacecraft using a rocket, you have to aim the rocket in
the right direction. That means that the satellite's attitude
determination & control, power, processing, and other systems all
need to be highly functional, which isn't often the case at the
satellite's end-of-life. The Terminator Tether is being designed to
be very reliable after a long on-orbit storage time. This drives its
cost up somewhat, but that is still much less expensive than
designing the whole spacecraft to have the reliability to have
everything working after a 5 or 10 year lifetime.
2. How does it's mass compare to that of the rocket?
Depends upon the orbit and how quickly you want to bring the
satellite down, but it can be a substantial savings. Bringing down a
LEO satellite using a solid rocket can require 5-20% of the
spacecraft's mass be reserved for deorbit fuel. A Terminator Tether
will typically mass just 1% of the spacecraft mass. The mass
'savings' can be reallocated to fuel for longer operation or other
(Bill Christensen 12/13/2004 1:13:34 PM)
|"I notice the diagram for the tether has a "shroud" component. Presumably this must be jettisoned before the tether can be deployed creating an additional piece of space junk?"
(Josh 12/14/2004 8:56:44 PM)
|"So what is the chance of the tether colliding with some other object and causing more junk, after all your space craft now has a 5 Km tail?"
(Stan Clark 5/23/2005 4:48:05 AM)
|"Can this same technology be used to tweak the plane of an orbit, by deploying the line at right angles to the direction of travel?"
(David Atwater 5/23/2005 3:41:14 PM)
|"I'm a space nut, been interested since i could read. I learned many things from this story. THANKS"
(bob wysong sr 5/28/2005 12:20:07 PM)
|"it's so gross how all this junk is orbiting around Earth!"
(kale 5/20/2006 10:58:51 AM)
|"whoever mentioned the shroud having to be removed should have looked closer, it appears to just be the housing, since it is open at one end, i guess they called it a shroud"
( 6/21/2006 12:55:05 AM)
|"Why not store in hole of shuttle on return trip"
(Roger Newell 9/8/2006 12:32:44 PM)
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