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Making the tether catch

30 Jun 2015, 17:38 UTC
Making the tether catch
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In Phobos - Panama Canal of the Inner Solar System, Doug Plata had asked about tether catches:How much time would one have to attach to the tether's end? Since it is connecting two different orbits then I'm imagining that it would be fairly brief. If one misses the connection, then what?I liken a catch at apoapsis to catching a ball at the top of it's bounce. For a brief time, the ball hangs motionless -- and then gravity pulls it back down. The less the acceleration, the longer the ball will hover at the top of a toss.Regions of the tether that feel a substantial net acceleration will have a greater need for fast reflexes and good timing. The regions of the tether closer to the balance point can catch at a more relaxed space. Catching at the balance point would be like docking with the I.S.S.For an example I will use the ellipse common to the Phobos and Deimos tether:The larger red ellipse is the path a payload would follow dropped from the foot of the Deimos tether and/or if thrown from the top of the Phobos tether. At peri and apoapsis, this path matches the speed of the ...

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