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Re: Elliptical/GTO and Eagle (Part II)



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The Grace of God and a strong space exploration 
and development program is the key to our future on Earth


On Sun, 5 May 2002 17:33:15   
 graham shirville wrote:
>
>Like Richard I have been a little surprised at the lack of comment about the
>note that we might be forced to build in deorbiting rockets to future amsat
>birds that was mentioned in VE3FRH's letter.
>
>I wondered if, instaed of a rocket, a tether could be used when required as
>this would be possibly safer/more relaible after "x" years in space.
>
>Like most of my "good ideas", someone has already been there. See:
>
>http://techtran.msfc.nasa.gov/SBIR/tether.html
>
>cheers
>
>Graham

Actually as a tether advocate I would advocate a slightly different solution.

A short tether, say 250-500 meters could be used in power generation mode to lower the orbit of an amsat spacecraft.  This would trade orbital energy for electrical energy.  This would be most effective at perigee but it could be tweaked in such a way to lower the total orbit until it gets into an orbit that would drop you out quickly.

This short tether could also be used as a longwave antenna or a way to passively gravity gradient stabilize the bird in a nadir orientation.

Just a thought.

Dennis Wingo
KD4ETA


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