Wrecker: an unreeling mechanism for a thin electrically conductive space tether
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- Rosta, R., Krömer, O., Zoest, T.. et al. CEAS Space J (2015) 7: 53. doi:10.1007/s12567-015-0080-6
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This paper presents the development of a deployment mechanism for the first demonstration mission of the Electrical Sail (Esail) propulsion concept. The mechanism will fly on Estonia’s first satellite, the EstCube-1 picosatellite. The major goals of this mission are the deployment of a 10-m tether by the WRECKER mechanism and the positive charging of the tether to interact with Earth’s ionosphere. The force acting on the tether will be measured to demonstrate the functionality of the Esail concept. The WRECKER mechanism can be further established as a standard tether deployment mechanism for deorbiting picosatellites.