Scheduled to launch March 29, 2003

The Propulsive Small Expendable Deployer system - called ProSEDS - is a tether-based propulsion experiment that draws power from the space environment around Earth, allowing the transfer of energy from the Earth to the spacecraft.

Inexpensive and reusable, ProSEDS technology has the potential to turn orbiting, in-space tethers into "space tugboats" -- replacing heavy, costly, traditional chemical propulsion and enabling a variety of space-based missions, such as the fuel-free raising and lowering of satellite orbits.

The flight of ProSEDS, scheduled for early in 2003, will mark the first time a tether system is used for propulsion. To be launched from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., ProSEDS will fly aboard an Air Force Delta II rocket and demonstrate an electrodynamic tether's ability to generate significant thrust.

Additional Information:

Similar experment fails in 1996:
Tethered satellite hurls into space, ruining experiment

February 25, 1996







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