NASA ENGINEERS are examining what remains of the Italian Tethered Satellite System, to discover why the tether broke during the craft's deployment (above) from the Space Shuttle Columbia/STS75 on 26 February (Flight International, 6-12 March). While the satellite and most of its 20.7km-long, 2.54mm-thick, braided copper, nylon and Teflon tether re-entered the atmosphere on 19 March, the Columbia returned with a short length of tether and the reeling mechanism in the retracted deployment mast inside its payload bay.

Source: Flight International