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Millennium Space Systems and Tethers Unlimited to Test Space Tether Solution

19 Jul 2020, 16:27 UTC
Millennium Space Systems and Tethers Unlimited to Test Space Tether Solution
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The Terminator Tape Deorbit Module interacts with the space environment to rapidly drag a satellite out of orbit. (Credit: Tethers Unlimited)

Two small satellites set to race in space; scientifically compare deorbit capability

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. (Millennium Space PR) – Two Millennium Space Systems-built DRAGRACER small satellites are being prepared for a first-of-its kind, controlled flight experiment later this year to mature future deorbit tether systems for low Earth orbiting satellites.

The DRAGRACER mission uses the scientific method to compare deorbit performance with two identical satellites: one in a naturally decaying orbit and one deploying a tether to expedite de-orbit. By flying this DRAGRACER experiment, Millennium plans to empirically compare the satellite hosting the 70-meter-long Terminator Tape provided by Tethers Unlimited to the control satellite, while calibrating predictive models with radar tracking data.

“The LEO satellite community will be able to quantify the value of space tethers to help mitigate the ever-growing orbit debris problem – following the guidance from the Inter-Agency Space Debris Coordination (IADC) committee for satellites to re-enter the earth’s atmosphere within 25 years of being decommissioned,” said Stan Dubyn, founder and CEO, Millennium Space Systems. “This scientific method experiment will demonstrate Millennium’s ability to field and ...

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