- Step 1 After a spacecraft completes its mission, a three-mile-long Terminator Tether that is attached to the satellite unravels from its spool.
- Step 2 Interactions between the Earth's magnetic field and the charged ionosphere create and drive an electrical current in the metal tether.
- Step 3 The current generates a Lorentz force—a phenomenon that affects charged particles moving in magnetic fields—that opposes the spacecraft's orbital motion.
- Step 4 Over the next weeks or months, the Lorentz force pushes the craft to lower altitudes, until it mostly burns up in Earth's atmosphere.
The government's plan to collect migrant DNA could send us down a slippery slope for surveillance