Different simplifying assumptions can be formulated for the analysis of tethered systems, each of them with its own degree of fidelity and range of validity. The present paper points out the meaning of linear gravity gradient approximation for long tethers, constant tension along them and rigid deviation from the local vertical of a tethered system subjected to aerodynamic drag. A simplified model is presented and compared with numerical integration of the comprehensive nonlinear equilibrium equations. Numerical simulations refer to a probe to be flown in Martian atmosphere.

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