Tether Technology: A New Spin on Space Propulsion

In the near future, revolutionary space hardware could put an exciting spin on spaceflight. NASA is putting money into Momentum-eXchange/Electrodynamic Reboost tether technology — MXER for short — an innovative concept that if implemented would station miles and miles of cart-wheeling cable in orbit around the Earth. Then, rotating like a giant sling, the cable would swoop down and pick up spacecraft in low orbits, then hurl them to higher orbits or even lob them onward to other planets.