Anybody know the name of this mission?

  • Thread starter enigma
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In summary, there was a NASA mission in 1996 called the "Tethered Satellite System" where a wire was extended between the space shuttle and a small satellite to generate electricity from the motion of charged particles in the Van-Allen belts. This idea was originally proposed by Hannes Alfven, a Nobel prize-winning physicist, and was first attempted in the 1970s. The mission was attempted twice, with the second attempt being successful but not yielding any significant results. The mission was also known for the space shuttle playing with a yo-yo on the wire.
  • #1


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Hi all,

I'm trying to find information on this one mission (NASA AFAIK)...

They deployed a satellite which had two long wires extended in opposite directions.

The wires acted as a conducting path for charged particles in the Van-Allen belts and their motion generated electricity in the satellite main body.

I remember hearing about it, but I don't know if the mission was launched, was successful, ITS NAME, etc.

Any information would be grately appreciated.
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  • #2
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  • #3
Is that the shuttle mission where they played with a yo-yo? I think they did it twice - the first time it didn't work because the cable jammed. So they sent it up again and the second time it deployed but didn't do much of interest.

I think both missions happened within the past 2 years.

edit: too late...
  • #4
Thanks all!
  • #5
one more thing (no thanks required!)
the scheme or something like it was originally
thought up by Hannes Alfven.

Hannes Alfven (1908-1995) Swedish physicist who
won Nobel in 1970, proposed electric power generation using the electric and magnetic fields in space way back, maybe as early as the 1970s, possibly even earlier. He did creative work in many fields

Just to indicate the kind of man----around 1960 he
predicted the large filamentary structure of the
universe---the sort of cob-webby pattern of clusters of
was discovered 30 years later

1. What is the purpose of the mission?

The purpose of a mission can vary, but it typically involves the gathering of information or data, conducting experiments, or completing a specific task.

2. Who is involved in the mission?

The individuals involved in a mission can include scientists, engineers, astronauts, and other professionals who have specific roles in achieving the mission's goals.

3. How is the mission funded?

Missions can be funded by various sources, such as government agencies, private companies, or a combination of both. It depends on the nature and scope of the mission.

4. How long will the mission last?

The duration of a mission can range from a few hours to several years, depending on its objectives and the technology used.

5. What are the potential risks of the mission?

There are always risks associated with any mission, such as technical failures, human error, and unforeseen challenges. Scientists and engineers work to minimize these risks and have contingency plans in place in case of emergencies.

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