Monday, March 26, 2007
An experiment to be launched tomorrow (March 27) on a Denpr rocket will carry out a new test of tethers in space. Three microsatellites will deploy - two at the ends of a 1 km tether, with the third in the middle using a traction mechanism to "crawl" along the tether. Past tether experiments have had mixed results. The concept may be important for future space structures, for maneuvering without propellant, and for the generation of electrical power from the interaction between a tether and the Earth's magnetic field.