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TSS
EOIM-3/TEMP2A-3
EOIM-3/TEMP2A-3
Credit: Manufacturer Image
The Italian Tethered Satellite System was mounted in the shuttle payload bay and consisted of a 1.6-m-diameter satellite, a conducting tether, and a tether deployment/retrieval system. The system would reel out a satellite on a 22-km long tether. After a failed attempt to deploy it in 1992, there was an inadvertent launch on the second attempt in 1996 when the tether broke. Tethered, retrievable satellite satellite operated by ISA, NASA, Italy. Launched 1992 - 1996.

AKA: Tethered Satellite System. Status: Operational 1992. First Launch: 1992-07-31. Last Launch: 1996-02-22. Number: 3 . Gross mass: 518 kg (1,141 lb).

The objective was to demonstrate control of the satellite during deployment, aerodynamic stability at flight altitude, and the ability of the system to collect meaningful scientific data and to return the data to the Orbiter. First attempt to use the system was on STS-46 in July 1992. The tether jammed on a protuding bolt after being extended only 260 m. It was reeled in and returned to earth. The system was reflown, and satellite deployment began from STS-75 from a 291 km x 299 km x 28.5 deg orbit at 20:45 GMT on 25 February 1996. By 01:00 GMT on 26 February the satellite was at almost 22 km. At 01:30 GMT the tether broke at the deployer end, and the TSS satellite plus tether rapidly separated from Columbia. It entered a higher 316 x 413 km x 28.5 deg orbit (Columbia's orbit at the time was 291 x 299 km) thus demonstrating inadvertently the use of tethers for changing orbits without using rocket fuel. At around 17:40 GMT the astronauts began retracting the remaining tether and stowing the deployer boom.


More at: TSS.

Family: Technology, Tether technology satellite. Country: Italy. Launch Sites: Cape Canaveral, Cape Canaveral LC39B. Bibliography: 2, 276, 4, 6, 11911.

1992 July 31 - . 13:56 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39B. Launch Platform: MLP1. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Space Shuttle.
  • TSS-1 - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Program: STS. Spacecraft: TSS. COSPAR: 1992-049xx.

1996 February 22 - . 20:18 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39B. Launch Platform: MLP3. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Space Shuttle.
  • TSS-1 - . Payload: TSS-1R. Nation: Italy. Agency: ASI. Program: STS. Class: Technology. Type: Tether technology satellite. Spacecraft: TSS. Decay Date: 1996-03-19 . USAF Sat Cat: 23805 . COSPAR: 1996-012B. Apogee: 189 km (117 mi). Perigee: 173 km (107 mi). Inclination: 28.5000 deg. Period: 88.10 min. LEO. Tether deployment test; 20 km long tether; satellite unintentionally deployed when tether broke 2/25/96 Reentered Mar 19..
  • TSS-1R Deployer - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Program: STS. Spacecraft: TSS. Decay Date: 1996-03-09 . USAF Sat Cat: 23801 . COSPAR: 1996-012xx. Apogee: 320 km (190 mi). Perigee: 277 km (172 mi). Inclination: 28.5000 deg. Period: 90.50 min.

1996 February 25 - .
  • TSS tether breaks - . Nation: Italy. Spacecraft: TSS. Test from shuttle of 20 km long tether; satellite unintentionally deployed when tether broke. Re-entered March 19..


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