No Go on the Space Shuttle Yo-Yo

Astronauts are forced to abandon a daring, difficult experiment

It was supposed to be another space spectacular, the kind NASA used to pull off like clockwork: astronauts aboard the shuttle Atlantis had plans to dangle a half-ton satellite on a 20.1-km (12 1/2-mile) tether, forming the biggest single orbiting object in history. But like so many of the space agency's ambitious projects lately, this one didn't quite work out. The Italian-made satellite rose properly from the shuttle on a 10-m (39-ft.) boom, but the astronauts couldn't pull out its auxiliary power cord. When they finally got the cord out and began unreeling the satellite, the tether that kept it attached...

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