Was reading this, and I immediately saw the problem with the angular momenta not lining up. Unfortunately, my mind likes to keep turning scenarios over and asking what would happen if
x? So my question is best described by the following diagram:
Assumptions would be:
- These two satellites are in the exact same orbit, and are tethered together.
- They are phased by
tseconds in this orbit, and weigh the exact same amount (
- The drag on these two satellites is non-existent (Earth's atmosphere left).
- The tether is of an unbreakable material (does it need to be?).
- The satellites will not be so far apart as to drag the rope across your roof.
- I shouldn't have to say the satellites/tether not to scale, but I will.
- Edit: In accordance with kbelder's comment, the tether may or may not be a straight line.
Would this system be sustainable, or would the tether being closer to Earth create a pull on the central part of the tether after
x separation between the two? What would the separation be before this system becomes unstable? I currently am under the assumption that if the tether was massless, there would be no problems; you can assume any rope material if you're doing calculations.
KBelder pointed out that the tether would not look like that in certain scenarios, I suppose the scenario I want to consider is as I've mentioned in the comments:
I was assuming the two objects would be connected by connecting one end, then performing a phasing maneuver (allowing slack during the transfer) to get to the other one. This would mean that it would not be following the same orbital path (though I do not know what the path it would follow is).
I've been playing what-if in my head. If all of this is stupid, that's a completely valid answer.