Orientation of TiPS tether

Robert H. McNaught, Anglo-Australian Observatory (RMN@aaocbn2.aao.gov.au)
Fri, 12 Jul 1996 16:03:00 +1000 (EST)

Comment has been made on the orientation of the TiPS tether relative to the
direction of motion.  IF the tether always points towards the center of the
Earth, then it is easy to see that the tether must ALWAYS point to the nadir
(and zenith) for EVERY observer, as the center of the Earth is the observer's
nadir.

With the tether oriented vertically, as it is intended to be, then a pass
that takes TiPS overhead will have the tether aligned along the direction of
motion. For other passes, the tether will be oriented perpendicular to the
direction of motion only at the highest elevation reached on the pass.  As it
rises in the sky, the higher end mass ("Norton") will preceed, whereas as it
descends towards the horizon, the lower ("Ralph") will lead.

Cheers, Rob McNaught
rmn@aaocbn2.aao.gov.au