NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Tethered satellite deployment. View of the first Tethered Satellite System (TSS-1) at the start of its deployment. TSS-1 was designed to be reeled out to 20 kilometres from Shuttle Atlantis in orbit. The purpose was to investigate the possibilities of generating electricity as the conducting tether passed through the Earth's magnetic field. Unfortunately, a fault in the tether reeling mechanism prevented deployment further than 256 metres from the Shuttle, just over 1% of its full length. NASA claimed to have gathered much data about the handling of tethered systems, however. TSS-1 was carried on Mission STS-46 of 31 July to 8 August 1992.
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