A study was performed to determine the probability of collision with resident space objects and untrackable debris for the tether component of the Tethered Satellite System (TSS) after it broke away from the Space Shuttle orbiter (mission STS-75) in February 1996. Both an analytical and a numerical approach were used in this study, and the results obtained with these two methods were found to be in good agreement. These results show that the deployed tether is expected to have been impacted by several particles 0.1 mm or larger in size. The probability of collision with objects 10 cm in size or larger was on the order of 10−3 per month. Since the severed tether reentered within one month after deployment, the collision hazard to other objects while in orbit was small. The analytical methods used in this study are useful for tether collision evaluations in general.
Space Debris – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 30, 2004
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