Space elevator.

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Lance Kennedy
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Space elevator.

Post by Lance Kennedy » Sat Oct 27, 2018 9:57 pm

Mars, here we come.

The Chinese claim to have developed a new material, strong enough to support a space elevator.

https://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/new ... d=12149561

If this is true, then a space elevator could be set up (at enormous cost) and which would open up the solar system to massive exploration and colonisation. It might be possible to set up a Mars space elevator as well. With an Earth to orbit space elevator, and a Mars orbit to Mars surface space elevator, it suddenly becomes practical to send people and materials to Mars in massive quantity.

It would also be possible to set up a space elevator for the moon, though it would need to be very long, and anchored in the lunar Trojan points rather than out in orbit.

Such a space elevator would need to be designed to be resistant to impact by space debris. The article above talks of solid metal shields, but that makes little sense to me. Much better to build it as a very wide ribbon, which could retain sufficient strength even if punctured.

Even if the Chinese development proves practical, it will be many years before a space elevator is likely to be built. But as far as travel off Earth is concerned, it would be a game changer.

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Re: Space elevator.

Post by ElectricMonk » Sun Oct 28, 2018 4:59 am

Always have been in love with the idea of a space elevator, and would love to see one build in my lifetime (which might be unlimited, presuming dramatic leaps in brain-upload technology).
Once the technology is in reach, building a space elevator becomes very much a "first penguin in the water" problem:
The first builder will likely face dramatic unanticipated problems, but the rewards would be literally astronomical.

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Re: Space elevator.

Post by Gord » Sun Oct 28, 2018 2:16 pm

The only downside to a space elevator is the long ride time. The muzak would be interminable!
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Re: Space elevator.

Post by Poodle » Sun Oct 28, 2018 2:58 pm

You could shorten the ride time by strapping rocket engines to the elevator and ... oh, hang on ...

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Re: Space elevator.

Post by landrew » Sun Oct 28, 2018 3:07 pm

I think it's a great idea, but I can't see how it could cope with the wind. It might take some mighty engineering to cope with that problem, like mounting some vectoring engines partway up the beanstalk.
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Re: Space elevator.

Post by Aztexan » Sun Oct 28, 2018 4:13 pm

We could teleport. Duh.
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Re: Space elevator.

Post by Lance Kennedy » Sun Oct 28, 2018 9:34 pm

Gord wrote:
Sun Oct 28, 2018 2:16 pm
The only downside to a space elevator is the long ride time. The muzak would be interminable!
Actually, long ride time would not be acceptable. A fast transit is required since the passengers would pass through the radiation belts. Not a problem with fast moving rockets, but if the space elevator was slow, it might fry the passengers. Possibly a high speed maglev system ?

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Re: Space elevator.

Post by landrew » Sun Oct 28, 2018 9:43 pm

Imagine the waiting times before you could get on board.
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Re: Space elevator.

Post by landrew » Sun Oct 28, 2018 9:46 pm

Lance Kennedy wrote:
Sun Oct 28, 2018 9:34 pm
Gord wrote:
Sun Oct 28, 2018 2:16 pm
The only downside to a space elevator is the long ride time. The muzak would be interminable!
Actually, long ride time would not be acceptable. A fast transit is required since the passengers would pass through the radiation belts. Not a problem with fast moving rockets, but if the space elevator was slow, it might fry the passengers. Possibly a high speed maglev system ?
I think the radiation belts are out beyond the range of the space elevator.
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Re: Space elevator.

Post by Lance Kennedy » Sun Oct 28, 2018 10:09 pm

Landrew

The radiation belts begin less than 1,000 kilometers from the ground. Geostationary is 36,000 kilometers from the ground, which is where the elevator has to take you. Sorry, but you have to go right through all of them.

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Re: Space elevator.

Post by Matthew Ellard » Mon Oct 29, 2018 12:46 am

Here is the real problem with the Space Elevator.
Space elevator.jpg
Space elevator 2.jpg
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Re: Space elevator.

Post by landrew » Mon Oct 29, 2018 4:35 pm

Lance Kennedy wrote:
Sun Oct 28, 2018 10:09 pm
Landrew

The radiation belts begin less than 1,000 kilometers from the ground. Geostationary is 36,000 kilometers from the ground, which is where the elevator has to take you. Sorry, but you have to go right through all of them.
Yes, you are correct.
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