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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    Posted on: Sun Apr 25, 2004 1:24 am
Nuclear reactors, and other hazardous stuff. Do we believe that rocketry will get so safe that people will allow stuff like this to be launched over them (or more importantly the FAA will)?

Given we could just launch in the desert in Australia (I mean who cares if we scatter nuclear contaminants over Australia).

But if we can't resolve these problems, then perhaps the space elevator would have some viability.

Maybe worth thinking about for bringing things DOWN to earth? For instance I was thinking about those asteroids we're going to mine. When we bring the ore or refined metals down to Earth, peoplemight get a bit freaked out about many many tonnes of metal falling out of the sky. Another viable use for the elevator?

But I'm coming at this the wrong way, I like the concept of an elevator, so I'm looking for uses for it, too often the way space development works.


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Post    Posted on: Sun Apr 25, 2004 2:16 am
Well Pete, another cool thing about the space elevator is that if you want to go to the moon or mars, you just have to get to the top of the elevator, let go at the right time and you will be flung out into space towards your destination.

Also, if we someday build another elevator on Mars there will be no need to slow down before reaching Mars. You basically get flung off the first Earth based elevator as described above, then get caught by the Martian space elevator and desend to the surface.


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Post    Posted on: Sun Apr 25, 2004 2:29 am
Pete wrote:
Maybe worth thinking about for bringing things DOWN to earth? For instance I was thinking about those asteroids we're going to mine. When we bring the ore or refined metals down to Earth, peoplemight get a bit freaked out about many many tonnes of metal falling out of the sky. Another viable use for the elevator?


i hadn't thought of that...... but i have a better idea. screw bringing down the refined ore, take down the whole asteroid. personally i think that mining bigger asteroids won't work too well until we can have manned mining, but that doesn't mean we couldn't find a 100-ft diameter or so asteroid close to earth, get some propulsion stuff (magnetic accelerators that can scoop out and shoot away stuff maybe), and tow the asteroid to orbit, then slow it down and take it back to earth. of course, once it's in orbit there isn't any reason why you can't process and use the stuff up there. iron in orbit is worth alot more than iron on earth after all.

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Post    Posted on: Sun Apr 25, 2004 2:40 am
Personally, I would rather enter atmosphere at 200 mph then at 17,500 mph


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Post    Posted on: Sun Apr 25, 2004 2:49 am
Hauling all the way out to the end of the elevator puts a lot more design stress on the whole thing than just climbing half way up it and boosting away.

It would be cool, to leap frog from one tower to the next but it really is harder.

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Post    Posted on: Sun Apr 25, 2004 2:56 am
Once you climb to GEO, you don't really have to climb the ribbon anymore. Instead of being pulled towards the Earth you would start to be pulled towards the end of the ribbon. Another plus is if you put a space station on the end of the ribbon it would get artificial gravity (Of couse you would be standing upside down compared with the surface :wink: )


Last edited by TrevorM on Sun Apr 25, 2004 3:42 am, edited 1 time in total.



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Post    Posted on: Sun Apr 25, 2004 3:11 am
TrevorM wrote:
Once you climb to GEO, you don't really have to climb the ribbon anymore. Insteal of being pulled towards the Earth you would start to be pulled towards the end of the ribbon. Another plus is if you put a space station on the end of the ribbon it would get artificial gravity (Of couse you would be standing upside down compared with the surface :wink: )


And soon there is a whole station arround the earth.... lol with opposite gravity :lol: HELP we're going to lose our daylight on the surface!! :cry:
And all those lights from the upper side... it will be 1 large messy "half gray day" lol

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Post    Posted on: Sun Apr 25, 2004 3:20 am
Quote:
Insteal of being pulled towards the Earth you would start to be pulled towards the end of the ribbon.


And put the previously neutral or compressive tower under immense tension away from the Earth.

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Post    Posted on: Sun Apr 25, 2004 3:39 am
idiom wrote:
Hauling all the way out to the end of the elevator puts a lot more design stress on the whole thing than just climbing half way up it and boosting away.

It would be cool, to leap frog from one tower to the next but it really is harder.


Wouldn't it pretty much be the same stress that climbing the elevator up to geo?

Edit*

Sigurd wrote:
So if anti gravity works.. space elevators would be just an useless project.


That's not necessarily true, in the end what ever system that has the lowest total cost per pound to orbit will become the dominant way of getting into space. Anything else that sticks around after that will be either for odd research projects or possibly some sort of nostalgia business.


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Post    Posted on: Sun Apr 25, 2004 5:09 pm
TJ wrote:
That's not necessarily true, in the end what ever system that has the lowest total cost per pound to orbit will become the dominant way of getting into space. Anything else that sticks around after that will be either for odd research projects or possibly some sort of nostalgia business.


or either for places that don't have elevators, or ships that have to be able to launch in a variety of spots. orbital rocketry (or antigrav, or whatever other form of in-ship propulsion there is) will always be around. always. well..... maybe not if we invent teleporters, but since i'd consider the likelyhood of that within the next millenium to be slim to none, i think 'always' is a safe word.

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Post    Posted on: Sun Apr 25, 2004 9:10 pm
TerraMrs wrote:
TJ wrote:
That's not necessarily true, in the end what ever system that has the lowest total cost per pound to orbit will become the dominant way of getting into space. Anything else that sticks around after that will be either for odd research projects or possibly some sort of nostalgia business.


or either for places that don't have elevators, or ships that have to be able to launch in a variety of spots. orbital rocketry (or antigrav, or whatever other form of in-ship propulsion there is) will always be around. always. well..... maybe not if we invent teleporters, but since i'd consider the likelyhood of that within the next millenium to be slim to none, i think 'always' is a safe word.


That's assuming that the elevator even has a lower total cost per pound to orbit. Although I do believe that it will myself, especially when there's more than one running. There's also the rate of ascent, I believe the space elevator has a projected travel time of roughly a week from the surface to geo. At the very least the military (most likely anyway) would probably have a faster way of getting to orbit and to where ever their interests are that cost is a secondary concern. For most things though it's going to go to whatever is the safest, most reliable and cheapest, be it rocket, elevator, light craft, anti-gravity or even teleporter, although I tend to agree with you on that one.

If/when the elevator becomes a major transit line to space I don't think it's location at the equator will be enough of a hindrance to support other ways of getting into space for the majority anyway. Especially when there are people seriously talking about building a vacuum tunnel mag lev train that goes from NY to London in an hour or so. Once that kind of engineering becomes common place such trains going from major cities to their closest equatorial elevator station will start popping up. There's also a concept I once read about in I believe a science fiction story where they had split elevator cables that would be able to get to places such as NY city but I think the additional stresses for something like that might push it beyond even the strengths of carbon nano tubes.


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Post    Posted on: Wed May 26, 2004 4:52 pm
I will let you guys connect the dots on this one.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/5025388/


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Post    Posted on: Wed May 26, 2004 5:11 pm
DJBREIT wrote:
I will let you guys connect the dots on this one.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/5025388/


I think this is amazing :)
If they can use this for getting to space, in a multiple step way.. it would be very good :)
And in the end... maybe cheaper compared to any type of rockets.. ?

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Post    Posted on: Wed May 26, 2004 8:14 pm
there's a whole seperate thread on that link, why the crossposting?


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Post    Posted on: Wed May 26, 2004 8:43 pm
n54 wrote:
there's a whole seperate thread on that link, why the crossposting?

You're right, lets keep this topic about space elevators, or as DJBREIT wrote, "connect the dots ".. so maybe a comparission between Elevation <> Airships.

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