A long, very strong, cable in orbit around a planet which rotates around
its center of mass in such a way that when one end is closest to the ground,
its relative velocity is almost zero. It would function as a kind of space
elevator; shuttle craft would anchor to the end and then be lifted into
orbit where they would be released. It is closely related to the idea of
a beanstalk. The concept was originally described by Y. Artsutanov in 1969.
The name was probably coined by Hans Moravec.1
- Moravec, Hans. "A Non-Synchronous Orbital Skyhook." Journal of
the Astronautical Sciences, Vol. 25, No. 4, pp 307-322, 1977.