Propellant-less Self-Powered Missions to Io

   Electrodynamic tethers (EDT) are a promising alternative for producing the energy required in any scientific exploration mission to Io and its plasma torus, which are generally handcuffed by a scarcity of power.

   Recent studies [1] have addressed the power generation capability of passive bare electrodynamic tethers in the Jupiter environment, where the gravitational attraction of a moonlet can be exploited simultaneously to the electrodynamic interaction with the Jupiter plasma so that orbit drift is prevented and it becomes possible to continuously extract power from the orbital energy of the moonlets (for the case of Metis, Adrastea and Amalthea) or from Jupiter fast rotating plasmasphere (for the case of Thebe), current control being used as the sole mean to stabilize both the position and the attitude of the constant-length non-rotating electrodynamic tether system.