Bothell, WA, 18 December 2012 (TUI PR) — Tethers Unlimited, Inc. (TUI) announced today that it has delivered the first flight units of an innovative spacecraft component that will help reduce the growth of space debris. TUI delivered several of its Terminator Tape™ Deorbit Modules to The Aerospace Corporation for use on its upcoming AeroCube-5 flight experiment.
The Terminator Tape Deorbit Module is a small device, about the size of a drink coaster, which is attached to a satellite prior to launch. When the satellite completes its mission, it activates the Terminator Tape Module, which then deploys a long conductive tape. This tape drags against the Earth’s magnetic field and upper atmosphere, rapidly lowering the orbit of the spacecraft until the satellite burns up in the upper atmosphere. By rapidly removing the satellite from orbit, the Terminator Tape helps ensure that the satellite will not contribute to the accumulation of space debris that could pose a threat to future space missions.
“We are grateful and excited for the opportunity to demonstrate the Terminator Tape as a part of The Aerospace Corporation’s CubeSat flight mission,” said Dr. Rob Hoyt, CEO and Chief Scientist of TUI. “We expect this test to validate that our technology
provides an affordable means for the users of Earthorbit to retire their spacecraft in a responsible manner so as to preserve Earth orbit as a resource for future generations.”
Tethers Unlimited, Inc. develops innovative technologies to enable new capabilities and dramatic cost savings for missions in space, sea, and air. To learn more about TUI and its products, please visit www.tethers.com.
About The Aerospace Corporation
The Aerospace Corporation is a Federally Funded Research and Development Center (FFRDC), an independent nonprofit entity primarily funded by the U.S. Air Force to provide objective technical assessment and technology validation for space programs that serve the national interest. To learn more, please visit www.aerospace.org.
About the size of a drink coaster, this Terminator Tape Deorbit Module enables a small spacecraft to remove itself from orbit at the end of its mission to help reduce the growth of space debris.