Dyneema fiber used as “Slingshot” in experiment for simple, return of materials from space

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology

ISSN: 0002-2667

Publication date: 25 January 2008

Abstract

Citation

(2008), "Dyneema fiber used as “Slingshot” in experiment for simple, return of materials from space", Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, Vol. 80 No. 1. https://doi.org/10.1108/aeat.2008.12780aad.030

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Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited


Dyneema fiber used as “Slingshot” in experiment for simple, return of materials from space

Dyneema fiber used as “Slingshot” in experiment for simple, return of materials from space

DSM Dyneema recently announced its ultra-strong, lightweight Dyneema polyethylene fiber was chosen by Delta-Utec, one of the world's leading experts in the field, to be used in a swinging tether experiment in space. The experiment entailed the attempted return of a capsule from space without the need for rocket propulsion. The “Space Mail” delivery of the second Young Engineers' Satellite (YES2) capsule – which was lofted into space on 14 September – made use of the unique qualities and performance of Dyneema fiber. The total tether had a length of 30km, with a weight of only 5.5kg. Also, only a 5mm thickness was required, due to the exceptional strength of Dyneema.

Experimenting with the use of tethers instead of retro rockets to return payloads to Earth offers benefits of simplicity and reduced fuel costs. Although the (secondary) goal of setting a new world record was not met, the YES2 team-members were pleased with the results of this experiment. According to Jaco Fok, Business Manager Yarn DSM Dyneema, “Only Dyneema fiber could deliver the unique combination of strength, light weight and low elongation that was required for the experiment with the swinging tether. Dyneema helped take science a step forward in `space mail' delivery research, for the benefit of future experiments and satellite missions.”