A review of space tether research

M.P. Cartmell, D.J. McKenzie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

235 Citations (Scopus)


The review paper attempts to provide a useful contextualised source of references for the student interested in learning about space tethers, and their potential for propulsion of payloads in Space. The two principal categories of momentum exchange and electrodynamic tethers are discussed, with the principal aim of establishing useful sources of fundamental theory in the literature, as well as highlighting important technology and mission development papers. The large-scale international effort that continues to be made in the area of space tether research is evident, with major literature contributions from the world-wide scientific and technical community. The overarching theme of the paper is to show the richness and diversity of tether modelling that has been undertaken in recent times, and to emphasise, by means of many different examples, that dynamics and control are the two fundamentally important aspects of all tether concepts, designs, and mission architectures.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-21
Number of pages21
JournalProgress in Aerospace Sciences
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jan 2008


  • space tether
  • tether modelling


Dive into the research topics of 'A review of space tether research'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this