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Object Timeline

2001

  • Work on this object began.

2004

  • Work on this object ended.

2005

2019

  • You found it!

Hoytether™ Tension Member For Space Propulsion Applications, Prototype, Hoytether™ Tension Member for Space Propulsion Applications, designed 2001, manufactured 2004

This is a Hoytether™ tension member for space propulsion applications, prototype. It was designed by Dr. Robert P. Hoyt and manufactured by Tethers Unlimited, Inc. and Toyobo Co., Ltd. and engineered by NASA Marshall Space Flight Center. It is dated designed 2001, manufactured 2004 and we acquired it in 2005. Its medium is multi-line braid of zylon®pbo with braided interconnections. It is a part of the Textiles department.

This braided space tether, made from one of the strongest fibers available today, is a momentum-exchange tether. It takes advantage of the momentum of a body in orbit to “throw” a payload, such as a satellite, into a different orbit. Such an apparatus could be adapted for the low-fuel transportation of loads to the moon or beyond. Its braid-like construction is designed to prevent all the strands from being severed simultaneously by flying micrometeoroids.
The tether was designed in 2001 by Dr. Robert P. Hoyt and manufactured in 2004 by Tethers Unlimited, Inc. The rust-colored, multi-line braid of Zylon® PBO fiber with braided interconnections, manufactured by Toyobo Corporation, Ltd., is designed to provide redundancy in the event some of the fibers are damaged.
The museum’s collection contains historic and contemporary examples of braided textile structures, but none with such a high performance application. As part of the museum’s 2005 exhibition, Extreme Textiles: Designing for High Performance, this tether demonstrates that strength can come from a fiber a fraction of the diameter of its metal counterpart.

This object was donated by Tethers Unlimited, Inc.. It is credited Gift of Tethers Unlimited, Inc..

Its dimensions are

Overall: 500 x 20.3 cm (16 ft. 4 7/8 in. x 8 in.)

Cite this object as

Hoytether™ Tension Member For Space Propulsion Applications, Prototype, Hoytether™ Tension Member for Space Propulsion Applications, designed 2001, manufactured 2004; Designed by Dr. Robert P. Hoyt ; USA; multi-line braid of zylon®pbo with braided interconnections; Overall: 500 x 20.3 cm (16 ft. 4 7/8 in. x 8 in.); Gift of Tethers Unlimited, Inc.; 2005-19-1

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<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url=https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18702025/ |title=Hoytether™ Tension Member For Space Propulsion Applications, Prototype, Hoytether™ Tension Member for Space Propulsion Applications, designed 2001, manufactured 2004 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=17 October 2019 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>