The Japanese STARS-Me (Space Tethered Autonomous Robotic Satellite-Mini Elevator) payload arrived at the International Space Station (ISS) on Sept. 27, aboard Japan's robotic HTV-7 cargo spacecraft. The experiment was produced by researchers at Shizuoka University in Japan, in collaboration with Obayashi, a Japanese construction firm.
The experiment is scheduled to be deployed into free space sometime Saturday (Oct. 6) Japan time (which is 13 hours ahead of Eastern Daylight Time), Japanese space officials have said. The test will involve a small box (a "climber") that will move along a cable some 30 feet (9 meters) long, which will be stretched tight between two cubesats. Cameras on the mini satellites will monitor the movement of the motorized box. [Building a 'Pillar to the Sky': A Space Elevator Q&A with Author William Forstchen]