Dragracer Satellites

Spacecraft Dragracer
Type CubeSat
Units or mass 6U (1/2 12U XL)
Entity name TriSept
Institution Company
Entity Commercial
Country US
Manufacturer AIVT by Millennium Space Systems
Launch brokerer TriSept
Partners Tethers Unlimited

Test a deployable conductive tape by Tethers Unlimited for deorbiting.


Test a Terminator Tape device developed by Tethers Unlimited. The Terminator Tape is a thin extendable tether designed to generate aerodynamic drag to accelerate the re-entry of small satellites, helping to prevent the creation of space junk.

Spacecraft will be built on the Raptor satellite bus, based on a 12U CubeSat form factor. The Dragracer satellite will split into two nearly identical pieces after launch. One half of the spacecraft carries the Terminator Tape, and the other does not, allowing engineers to compare how their altitudes change over time.

After a few days in space, the tether will extend to a length of about 820 feet (250 meters). The tape measures about 1.5 to 2 inches wide. Gravity gradient forces will pull the tether in a vertical orientation, stabilizing the satellite’s attitude and increasing drag. A preflight analysis predicts the Terminator Tape will allow the spacecraft with the tether to re-enter the atmosphere and burn up within two-to-four weeks, while the other satellite — acting as a control in the experiment — is expected to re-enter in eight-to-12 months.


The satellite with the drag tape burned upon reentry to Earth’s atmosphere after eight months. The satellite without tape will naturally de-orbit which is estimated to take at least seven years

Sources [1] [2] [3]
Photo sources [1] [2]

Related Spacecraft

Name Status Rocket Date Orbit
Dragracer 1 (Alchemy, Dragracer A) Reentry 2021-07-19. Was operational Electron 2020-11-20 500 km, 97.4 deg
Dragracer 2 (Augury, Dragracer B) Operational Electron 2020-11-20 500 km, 97.4 deg

Last modified: 2024-05-29

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