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The space elevator - climbing a ribbon all the way to space?

Posted by: The Legionnaire - Mon Jul 28, 2003 9:58 pm
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The space elevator - climbing a ribbon all the way to space? 

When will the first space elevator enter service?
By the year 2020. 14%  14%  [ 7 ]
Between 2020 and 2040. 31%  31%  [ 16 ]
Beyond 2040. 29%  29%  [ 15 ]
Never - it's impossible! 25%  25%  [ 13 ]
Total votes : 51

The space elevator - climbing a ribbon all the way to space? 
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Post The space elevator - climbing a ribbon all the way to space?   Posted on: Mon Jul 28, 2003 9:58 pm
A "tower" or "rope" stretching 100,000 kilometers high, where centripetal force would cancel out gravitational effects, would provide a cheap, safe ticket to space. Simply climb the rope and jump off when you've reached the desired orbit.

But are these so-called space elevators actually possible to build?

New research seems to indicate that the technical challenges required to build a modest space elevator are quite solvable. In fact, one of the men who did the recent research founded a new company dedicated to building a real space elevator by 2018.

Could this be the invention that will revolutionize space travel? Or is the space elevator just a distant mirage?


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Post    Posted on: Tue Jul 29, 2003 2:38 pm
It may be doable, but the upfront development is extremely costly. Thus it is a perfect fit to what NASA should be working on, instead of a trucking service to LEO. If NASA got out of the trucking service and let private industry handle it, then they could focus their resources on making space tethers a reality.


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Post    Posted on: Wed Jul 30, 2003 3:15 am
I think it'll be a miracle if we have a space elevator by 2018. Considering the untested technologies they want to use like ultra powerful FELs, beam powered MPD propulsion, the economical manufacture of quality CNT fibers, etc, it seems it would take 15 years for all of this to just get to an experimental phase. Then there's the question of the legal and political barriers that will have to be killed. Since CNT fibers act like asbestos in the lungs the environmental battles could be more intense than expected.


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Post    Posted on: Wed Jul 30, 2003 12:08 pm
Spacerat wrote:
I think it'll be a miracle if we have a space elevator by 2018

See www.spacetethers.com. you dont need to climb all the way, single-stage to tether would be doable with todays materials.


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Post    Posted on: Fri Aug 01, 2003 9:41 am
Quote:
See www.spacetethers.com. you dont need to climb all the way, single-stage to tether would be doable with todays materials.


I wonder why the companies that seek to develop a space elevator don't consider the possibility of a tether that doesn't reach to the ground. Seems like that would be a lot easier to develop, but then again I guess there's nothing wrong with pushing the envelope.


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Post The Holy Grail of Space Travel?   Posted on: Thu Aug 07, 2003 11:32 pm
I have a feeling that space tethers may not be the ultimate soultion to space travel. Sure they're technically possible, and they look cool too... but are they the Holy Grail of going into space? I very much doubt that, but they can be built, in my opinion, with the aid of nanotechnology... What about satellites and the costs of free energy (i.e. cost of solar panels)? - perhaps these issues can be solved.

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Post I hope Carbon NanoTubes are not toxic! :(   Posted on: Thu Aug 07, 2003 11:40 pm
The Toxicology of Carbon Nanotubes
What we DO NOT know,
And where we're going from here.
Space Elevator Conference, Seattle Wa, August 12/13 2002

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Post Another site on the subject   Posted on: Sat Dec 20, 2003 6:13 am
A space-elevator is a great idea.
I hope it is possible.
If it is may it be build soon so poor people have a chance to go to space to.
No doubt nanotechnology will have a great role in its production.

http://www.liftport.com


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Post    Posted on: Tue Dec 23, 2003 7:01 pm
Some people argue the merits of using carbon nanotubules are far weaker than the dangers, being an asbestos-like substance.

All I have to say is, silicosis is a guarenteed side-effect of a lifetime sandblasting career. This is an industrial process that will not be changed anytime soon because there will always be people willing to do the work for the right kind of pay. (Like me)

http://www.who.int/inf-fs/en/fact238.html

I knew full well what the dangers were when I started doing that job, and it got me out of my minimum-wage rut, but it paid for my education and now I work in IT. (I sound like a CDI commercial)

If employers in nanotubule research and construction are diligent and provide a decent level of safety to their employees, I can't see this as a real threat to the concept of a tether. It would be just another regulatory hurdle in the process.

I mean, hell, people still smoke, don't they?

And I totally agree with Irving.... NASA should jump on this...if corporate interest gets to the point where it can exceed NASA's capabilities? It'd be doomed to insignificance. I can see it getting to the point in my lifetime, where corporations are doing all of the cutting edge space exploration because it is replete with exploitable resources....be that knowledge, minerals or real-estate.

The tether concept could utterly replace our need for a third generation of space-shuttles. We've been in dire need of a 2nd Gen shuttle for some time, IMHO. And I say 3rd gen because theres no way this will be implemented before 2018, and I think thats a ridiculouslty tight schedule as it is, and we'll need to replace the existing space shuttles for certain, before then. (Nice timing X Prize...this won't yield a workable design for a new shuttle, but it may make NASA rethink payload delivery)

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Post    Posted on: Fri Jan 02, 2004 3:00 am
I have a good idea for a space elevator. 75% carbon nanotubes! :lol:


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Post    Posted on: Sun Jan 04, 2004 1:41 am
I wish I could show you guys my plans for a space elevator, but I don't have a scanner.!


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Post    Posted on: Tue Jan 13, 2004 11:33 pm
I think a space elevator woud be a good and convienant way to reach space.
:roll: :roll: :roll: :roll:


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Post    Posted on: Wed Jan 14, 2004 1:05 am
:!: Here is an idea that can be tested a lot sooner then the full-blown elevator.
If you where to build a carbon nanotubules pipe one to two inch in diameter with Aerogel (Frozen Smoke) as insulation you can super heat H2O ‘water’ and let it percolate up to a waiting tank. (Like a coffee maker). This will give a small-scale test for the technology. And this alone will be well worth the effort sins oxygen and water will be needed for any lunar colony we do establish. Also unless we find some water on the Moon it would be very costly to launch the water we needed.


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Post    Posted on: Thu Jan 15, 2004 10:27 pm
Hmmm. Space elevator, the elusive beenstalk. I chose the 'Never'. Not because I do not believe that it will be attempted but because I do not think that it will happen this century, and outside of that it hard to predict technologic alternatives. The energy savings that the elevator represent come at the cost of its potential energy. It is a sledge hammer sitting above whatever area it is erected in. Terrorist attack or simple obsolesence could lead to a spectacular disaster.

Perhaps I am not optomistic enough, and in 2030 the world will be rich enough and stable enough to give this a shot. I plan on living to see either way. And fun to think about in the mean time.


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Post    Posted on: Thu Jan 15, 2004 11:20 pm
Hmmmmmm, what about a giant crane in space, rather than a lift :D


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