11
Jun
2019

Dangling tape could be used to de-orbit old satellites

Once they were at the end of their mission, the orbiting satellites would allow that tape to unravel out of them, exposing it to the sun and to Earth’s geomagnetic field. Thanks to a phenomenon known as Lorentz force, which is defined as the force exerted by a magnetic field on a moving electric charge, that tape would then generate electricity. That current would in turn be relayed to the satellite, where it would power up onboard electric thrusters to push the spacecraft down and out of orbit.

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