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From the reviews:
"Michel Van Pelt’s book Space Tethers and Space Elevators (Copernicus/Praxis, 2009), a treatment of a technology we seldom consider in these pages … . his book is a must read for those of us interested in deep space development. … This is enlightening reading, and I’m glad to see a book focused on tethers … coming onto the popular science market. … useful for creating artificial gravity on long space missions and, interestingly, sweeping away dangerous charged particles around a spacecraft." (Centauri Dreams, August, 2009)
"In this book, Michel explains what the advantages of tethers in space are and the benefits they can provide, including Space debris mitigation and tether propulsion. … I thoroughly enjoyed this book and learned much from it. It will be very valuable to anyone who wants to learn about alternatives to using rockets to get into space or space tethers and/or space elevators in general. Michel van Pelt’s book is a very valuable addition to the ever-growing body of literature on this subject. Highly recommended." (The Space Elevator Blog, December, 2009)“Author Michel van Pelt makes clear in Space Tethers and Space Elevators … interesting thing that tether technology can do. Tethers could also be used as a slingshot to boost satellites into interplanetary orbits, improve astronauts’ health by supplying artificial gravity, and clean up space junk by using ‘tether terminators’ to drag obsolete satellites earthwards until they burn up on re-entering the atmosphere. … Logical, thorough and packed with fascinating information, this slim volume would make a valuable addition to any space enthusiast’s library.” (Physics World, February, 2010) “If any book can be said to be ahead of its time, this is it. … van Pelt goes on to describe various space-tether concepts, some feasible and some verging on the fanciful. … For anyone interested in learning more about the fascinating possibilities offered by space tethers, this well-written, clearly illustrated book is the ideal introduction.” (Peter Bond, The Observatory, Vol. 130 (1214), February, 2010) “This review of space tethers and space elevators provides a good description of the history of the application of tethers in space missions, along with the challenges faced in further exploitation of this technology. … The book is very much written for the nontechnical person. … Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates and general readers.” (D. B. Spencer, Choice, Vol. 47 (5), January, 2010)
On Earth, tethers or ropes or lines are used primarily to bind things to each other. In Space, tethers can also be used to attach spacecraft to each other, but this technology involves much more than simply tying things together. Ropes can also be used to climb, to reach places higher up – maybe all the way into space and in fact this concept exists in the form of a space elevator, consisting of a long, incredibly strong cable that stretches from the Earth’s surface into space. Solar powered "climber" machines, which are already under development, could use such a cable to haul cargo into orbit.
Space tethers could also be used as a means of transportation, to swing from one place to another. In stories on Earth, Tarzan uses liana vines to swing from tree to tree, and there are many serious ideas for using tethers in space in a somewhat similar way: swinging satellites into another orbit, or even passing them from tether to tether all the way to the Moon and Mars! Although this sounds like science fiction, many space missions using tethers have already flown. Most of them have been relatively small and experimental, but in the near future space tethers have the potential to revolutionize space flight.