Gratus, Jonathan and Tucker, Robin (2003) An improved method of gravicraft propulsion. Acta Astronautica, 53 (3). pp. 161-172. ISSN 0094-5765Full text not available from this repository.
There is an interaction between gravitational tidal forces and the instantaneous moment of inertia of any massive extended body. A mechanism that changes the altitude of a spacecraft orbiting a central mass by periodically changing its instantaneous moment of inertia tensor is discussed. This can be achieved most simply by connecting two bodies with a tether of adjustable length and does not rely on any chemical propellant. By using a series of reasonable approximations, a formula for the rate of change of height is given in terms of accessible data. This formula predicts that by suitably varying the length of a 50 km connecting tether a connected system can rise at about 300 m an hour in low earth orbit.
|Journal or Publication Title:||Acta Astronautica|
|Subjects:||Q Science > QC Physics|
|Departments:||Faculty of Science and Technology > Physics|
|Deposited By:||Mrs Yaling Zhang|
|Deposited On:||17 Jul 2008 15:17|
|Last Modified:||09 Apr 2014 20:17|
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