Did Space Lightning Hit the Tether?

Stephen Thompson (SThompson@esiusa.com)
Thu, 29 Feb 96 11:38:00 PST

As Richard Hamming pointed out, "The less we know, the more we suppose"

As I understand this they were using the 'orbital dynamo' to create 
electricity by moving a conductor thru a magnetic field, as well as probing 
the local plasma,  They were also doing the Ben Franklin experiment.  Could 
a gust of solar wind have  increased the conductivity of the surrounding 
plasma and generated a large potential across the length of the tether that 
burned out the tether at one end and the computer at the other --- space 
lightning.  The same thing happens sometimes on earth when the solar wind 
causes aurora and power distribution systems crash.  The previous tether, 
SEDS-2 broke in two twice.  It seems unlikely that debris hit it twice, but 
maybe the solar wind burned it in two like a fuse.


Make two backups and keep the humor dry.