Il “Satellite appeso”  TSS-S è la fornitura italiana al programma americano Tethered Satellite System (TSS), nato nel 1967.

Il programma iniziò essenzialmente sulle idee dello scienziato spaziale Jerome Pearson, noto per i suoi lavori sugli ascensori spaziali, e proseguì  sul brevetto “Bepi” Colombo-Mario Grossi del 1978.

Primo lancio del  TSS avvenne nel 1967 con il Gemini XI; quelli in collaborazione con l’ Italia furono il primo con l’Atlantis nel 1992 (STS-46) ed il secondo nel 1996 con il Columbia, nel 1996 (STS-75).

Nel primo volo con l’Atlantis diverse anomalie, nel secondo, pieno successo prima che il satellite fosse ritirato e tagliato.

Le esperienze raccolte furono essenziali per le missioni americane NRO/NRL



The “Suspended Satellite” (TSS-S) is the Italian contribution to the American program called Tethered Satellite System (TSS), which originated in 1967.

The program was primarily based on the ideas of space scientist Jerome Pearson, renowned for his work on space elevators, and further developed based on the 1978 patent by “Bepi” Colombo-Mario Grossi.

The first launch of the TSS took place in 1967 with the Gemini XI mission. The collaborative missions with Italy included the first one with the Atlantis spacecraft in 1992 (STS-46) and the second one with the Columbia spacecraft in 1996 (STS-75).

During the first flight with Atlantis, several anomalies occurred, but the second mission was a complete success before the satellite was retrieved and severed.

The experiences gained from these missions were crucial for the American NRO/NRL missions.

The TSS-S project stands as an important Italian contribution to the field of space exploration and technology, demonstrating the fruitful collaboration between Italy and the United States in advancing scientific knowledge and space capabilities.


Piace proseguire con le parole di D. Singanamala:

Tethered Satellite Systems (TSS) is the concept that promises in many aspects of space exploration. TSS is a two-body system connected by a long cable known as a “tether” which uses earth’s magnetic field, current in the tether to produce drag or thrust forces for less propellant maneuvering. There is a large body of history for TSS in which the researches have been quickly expanded in last two decades. It provides numerous space applications, problems to solve like mainly focuses on elastic tether vibrations especially in control of orbital maneuvering of TSS, momentum exchange, Spinning Tethers, for propellant-less orbital maneuvering. The emerging topics like Tether Space Elevators, removal of Space Debris using tether had made a challenging era for researchers to study the working model of the tether which will be a few hundreds of kilometers. Furthermore, there are several theoretical studies has been performed on TSS operations which aimed for many aerospace and Nano Technology applications to build the strongest possible Space Tether. There are many TSS mission that has been conducted in the past and descriptions of all the TSS mission history and Tether concept was presented by (Chen, Huang, Ren, He & He, 2013). However, there are many TSS missions portrayed over the time, it has been difficult for application in propulsion less transportation, removal of space debris and in space explorations which become a challenge in building and controlling a strongest and longest possible tether.