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Millennium Space Systems Deploys Smallsats to Demo Tether Tech for Orbital Debris Mitigation

DRAGRACER experiment
DRAGRACER experiment

Boeing“™s Millennium Space Systems subsidiary launched two small satellites as part of a controlled flight experiment to demonstrate a technology designed to help address orbital debris congestion.

The DRAGRACER satellites took off aboard Rocket Lab“™s Electron vehicle Nov. 19 to demonstrate a deployable tether technology designed to help low-Earth orbit satellites quickly return to the Earth's surface, Millennium Space Systems said Monday.

One of the satellites, Alchemy, features a 70-meter Terminator Tape from Tethers Unlimited meant to increase the spacecraft“™s surface area and facilitate the disposal and return of the satellite to Earth within 45 days. The other satellite called Augury serves as the control for the DRAGRACER experiment and is expected to undergo an orbital decay process of five years to seven and a half years.

"The population of space debris is already growing exponentially and, with numerous companies and government programs launching constellations of hundreds or thousands of satellites into low-Earth orbit, responsible stewardship of the orbital environment is crucial to ongoing use of space for commerce and defense," said Robert Hoyt, founder and president of Tethers Unlimited.

Millennium Space Systems partnered with TriSept to book a rideshare slot for the DRAGRACER mission.

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Written by Matthew Nelson

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