A Preliminary Investigation of the Motion of a Long, Flexible Wire in Orbit

by T. B. Garber

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An examination of the stability of a long wire in orbit, particularly as it is affected by gravitational gradients. The study indicates that an antenna system of this type would probably be unstable. This condition could be fixed, but the modifications would impose additional problems, the most significant of which is a shorter useful life in orbit. A special case of a wire aligned with the vertical shows a relatively stable behavior, provided the initial disturbances are small.

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