ProSEDS May Tie-In to ISS Propulsion
News story originally written on January 28, 1999
NASA announced that it will begin development of the Propulsive Small
Expendable Deployer System, or ProSEDS. ProSEDS will use the Earth's magnetic field
to act as a
force on a spacecraft, either speeding it up or slowing it down.
The system consists of a tether which is lowered into the upper
atmosphere. The tether induces a current, which creates an electric
field. If the electric field is oriented properly, it will interact with
the Earth's magnetic field and act as a force on the system.
"This will be a demonstration of a propellant-free propulsion system,"
said Les Johnson of NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center.
ProSEDS will be used as an example of a possible system for use on the
International Space Station. The ISS will need periodic orbital reboosts
because of slight atmospheric drag. If the tether system works, NASA
won't have to worry about the expensive task of bring propellants from
Earth to the station.
Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!
Our online store
on science education, classroom activities in The Earth Scientist
specimens, and educational games
You might also be interested in:
The Earth has a magnetic field with north and south poles. The magnetic field of the Earth is enclosed in a region surrounding the Earth called the magnetosphere. As the Earth rotates, its hot core generates...more
It was another exciting and frustrating year for the space science program. It seemed that every step forward led to one backwards. Either way, NASA led the way to a great century of discovery. Unfortunately,...more
The Space Shuttle Discovery lifted off from Kennedy Space Center at 2:19 p.m. EST, October 29th. The sky was clear and the weather was great as Discovery took 8 1/2 minutes to reach orbit for the Unitied...more
A moon was discovered orbiting the asteroid, Eugenia. This is only the second time in history that a satellite has been seen circling an asteroid. A special mirror allowed scientists to find the moon...more
Will Russia ever put the service module for the International Space Station in space? NASA officials are demanding an answer from the Russian government. The necessary service module is currently waiting...more
During a period of about two days in early May, 1998, the ACE spacecraft was immersed in plasma associated with a coronal mass ejection (CME). The SWICS instrument on ACE, which determines unambiguously...more
J.S. Maini of the Canadian Forest Service has referred to forests as the "heart and lungs of the world." Forests reduce soil erosion, maintain water quality, contribute to atmospheric humidity and cloud...more