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Applications of the Electrodynamic Tether to Interstellar TravelAfter considering relevant properties of the local interstellar medium and defining a sample interstellar mission, this paper considers possible interstellar applications of the electrodynamic tether, or EDT. These include use of the EDT to provide on-board power and affect trajectory modifications and direct application of the EDT to starship acceleration. It is demonstrated that comparatively modest EDTs can provide substantial quantities of on-board power, if combined with a large-area electron-collection device such as the Cassenti toroidal-field ramscoop. More substantial tethers can be used to accomplish large-radius thrustless turns. Direct application of the EDT to starship acceleration is apparently infeasible.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Marshall Space Flight Center
Document Type
Preprint (Draft being sent to journal)
Matloff, Gregory L.
(City Univ. of New York Brooklyn, NY, United States)
Johnson, Les
(NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL, United States)
Date Acquired
September 7, 2013
Publication Date
June 21, 2005
Subject Category
Spacecraft Design, Testing And Performance
Funding Number(s)
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.
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