Japan to build Space Elevator

Discussion in 'General Science & Technology' started by madanthonywayne, Sep 22, 2008.

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  1. orcot Valued Senior Member

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    Please do tell; Is it because of the strength of the nanotubes?
    The manufacturing of such a long cable without any mayor faults?
    The danger on the structure by weather micro meteorites and normal space radiation?
     
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  3. zenobia Registered Member

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    Goddamnit I love Japan. A Space Elevator...
     
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  5. DwayneD.L.Rabon Registered Senior Member

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    Well, I would like to ask what kind of material would give the strength and properties that are required for such a Cable, if they did not use Carbon.

    Example: the carbon cable should preform like what material, to meet the requirement fot the space elevator cable. would it Tungsten, Molybdenium, or Tin?

    DwayneD.L.Rabon
     
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  7. skywalker 3 @ T M 3 Registered Senior Member

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    I think they should outsource the labor from India, they got almost 900 million hungry people, it would be great to give 100million people job in Japan so they can build this elevator, fuck i say make sure that they stand on top of each other and build it like the payramids... it would be interesting.
     
  8. Carcano Valued Senior Member

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    The money would be better spent trying to figure out how to manipulate gravity.
     
  9. Uno Hoo Registered Senior Member

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    So noble Japanese will build 44,444 miles long monolithic ( fancy word meaning one-piece ) cable?

    No way. Then what will be engineering details of connection between cable segments?

    Still other 99,999 practical engineering details to be solved.

    No way orbit elevator will ever be practical success.
     
  10. Uno Hoo Registered Senior Member

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    Better spent any other way.
     
  11. DwayneD.L.Rabon Registered Senior Member

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    999
    Well, I still would like to ask what kind of material would give the strength and properties that are required for such a Cable, if they did not use Carbon.

    Example: the carbon cable should preform like what material, to meet the requirement fot the space elevator cable. would it Tungsten, Molybdenium, or Tin?

    DwayneD.L.Rabon
     
  12. Nasor Valued Senior Member

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    6,221
    There are no other known materials that have a high enough tensile strength. The carbon nanotube fibers that we are currently able to make have a tensile strength of around 63 GPa, while a theoretical perfect cable should be around 300GPa. Nothing else even comes close to that.
     
  13. Nasor Valued Senior Member

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    Even if the elevator ends up not being possible for some unforeseen reason, money spent on researching advanced materials is usually a good investment. There are many, many applications for high tensile strength materials here on earth.
     
  14. Syzygys As a mother, I am telling you Valued Senior Member

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    It is not even an elevator, it is a climber or rocket....
     
  15. DwayneD.L.Rabon Registered Senior Member

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    Thank you, Nasor
    Thats what i wanted to know, i was going to try to define a range of nano fabrication that would suit such a effort. As i know that most materials have the same range of fault.
    Carbon actually is a good choice, but i think its fabrication size could be improved. (Fabrication of the Nano Molecule that is).


    DwayneD.L.Rabon
     
  16. Pronatalist Registered Senior Member

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    750
    Perhaps, you are right.

    But consider, if we believe that too quickly, do we really want to just sit back, and let Japan corner the space-elevator market, once as usual, the "impossible" eventually becomes everyday reality? Might we rather corner the market?

    Long ago, I saw a poster that said, "Those who say it is impossible, are often interrupted by those doing it." Showing a picture of some people skiing or something or other.

    But then of course, I saw a space elevator on Star Trek, so it must be so?

    I wonder how many scientists, are inspired by Star Trek? I recall some mention in the commentary, about how scientists aren't upset at all the stuff Star Trek gets wrong about science, supposedly. Yeah, just imagine, I would guess that many good scientists, are just happy to see a TV show actually promoting science, rather than the usual TV mindrot drivel of the day.
     
  17. Pronatalist Registered Senior Member

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    750
    Without any major faults? Apparently, you know little of the history of the development of fiber optics for the tranmission of data under the oceans, or over very long distances. They had to come up with ways of producing so perfectly pure glass layers, capable of 100% total internal surface reflection, to avoid the data signals rapidly decaying over long distances. The account I heard on PBS's Innovation, about fiber optics, made it sound, like they didn't even know if what they wanted, would even be possible, and yet it proved to be.

    So I suspect that it is perhaps more possible to produce such a "perfect" cable, than you seem to think. However, the latter concern of possible damage to the cable, seems a serious formidable obstacle though.

    Also, what are the dangers of sudden cable failure? How susceptible is the cable to normal winds throughout the various layers of atmosphere? If such a long cable was to suddenly snap, it could travel at very high velocity, posing a serious threat to any space station or satellite nearby.

    Also, I wonder if people are picturing the wrong design of a space elevator. Would it be simply a simple cable strung from a planetary anchor, to an orbiting, beyond geosynchronous orbit, pulling the cable taut? Could dangerous oscillations develop, yanking the satellite all around? Maybe wind pulls the satellite inward, and then it strays back out again, jerking to its maximum radius from the planet? Would the cable be "stretchy" enough, to absorb such oscillations? Anyway, how many people know that a conventional elevator has counterweights? I don't recall seeing the counterweights, in the video game elevator shafts I have entered? When the elevator car travels upwards, the counterweight travels downwards, so that the motor doesn't have to lift the entire weight of the elevator car. Only the amount by which the current elevator weight differs from the typical weight. This would save quite a lot of electricity over the expected lifetime of the elevator, and probably allow for the elevator motors to hoist the elevator up to higher floors faster, as the weight load is reduced, so the same amount of 480 volt? 3-phase? electricity can produce more speed, via lifting less weight. Now I don't know by how much, the counterweight is weighed. Can an elevator ever "fall up" should the brakes or motors hypothetically fail? Is the counterweight slightly heavier than the empty elevator car? So in a space elevator, where is the greater cost? Infrastructure, or energy usage? Could there be an elevator car traveling up, while another travels down as a counterweight? Would there be any counterweights, or would that just add too much weight to the system? Isn't it cheaper to produce energy on the ground, than to lift all that extra equipment or fuel? Does that mean additional cables, to lift the elevator up the main cable? A conventional diesel engine or generator, wouldn't work upon leaving the oxygenated atmosphere, unless it brings its own heavy oxygen canisters. Similar problem with fuel cells. And transferring electricity so far by wire, introduces that pesky copper wire "weight" problem, that the cable can't even support its own weight. Well unless the wire's weight is insignificant compared to the carbon nanotubes. Not to mention all the cummulative resistance, would just totally kill the current and power levels. If you plugged your leaf blower, into not just a 100-foot extension cord, but 10 100-foot extension cords, 1000 feet long, I imagine you wouldn't get much power, at only 125 volts. At the end of the run, under typical blower current, the voltage could dip to what? 60 volts or less? Or do the nanotubes carry electricity energy? What? With no heavy insulating layers? Maybe the energy for the elevators motors, can be carried by aiming lasers at a pickup on the elevator. But only a few miles up, and the target becomes impossible to hit? Maybe the answer to all that, is to keep the elevator motor on the ground, and use a separate hoist cable, that can be cranked down at the ground level, to at the satelite, go through some pulley, to pull a cable up, to lift the elevator. Remember you can't "push" a cable, only pull.

    Compared to a rocket launch, a space elevator would be painfully slow. But a practical interest in space elevators would be, that the cost of transporting stuff into outer space, would be so much cheaper than by gas-guzzling rocket engines. I imagine quite a lot of unmanned loads could be sent up, to build space stations and such. Maybe to be offloaded by robots up in orbit. More stuff can be built, without the cost of rocket launches. More fuel can be delivered to rockets built up in orbit, to go farther out into outer space, without wasting the fuel escaping from earth's deep gravity well.

    One reason why humans aren't doing all that much towards exploring or colonizing outer space, is that it's just too expensive for even humans to escape from earth's gravity well. A space elevator lowers this cost, making a whole host of things currently economically unfeasible, more feasible. Maybe there's not really much anywhere to go in outer space anyway, other than launching communication and weather satellites around earth? But will we ever find out, as long as the costs are so prohibitive? Technology seems to be changing so fast, that most of the satellites in orbit, are probably already woefully out-of-date. But they are so expensive to launch, that we have to keep them in service longer than we would otherwise like. This gives them even more time to develop faults or malfunction.

    Of course, if somebody could invent a The Jetsons cartoon like "anti-gravity" beam to ride up upon, the elevator cable could be eliminated altogether. That would solve all kinds of problems. The biggest problem with getting into orbit, is the lack of any stairs to walk up upon. All that would be needed, is simply something solid to push against. Apparently, the Tower of Babel, rebellious attitude against God, people thinking they could just build a tower into the heavens, and find their own way to heaven, wasn't such a hot idea. Little did people know, had God not first scrambled the people's languages, the tower would have easily collapsed under its own weight, long before it could even extend as high as a mountain. What a huge boondoggle of a project!

    Another way to launch into orbit, suggested by sci-fi I think, is some sort of space-airplane. Could it be possible to get going fast enough in an airplane to just fling outwards into outer space? Problem is, the planet's gravity well is so much deeper than the atmosphere's thickness. And gravity is a huge bear to beat by building up momentum, especially with air resistance to constrain it. Don't think so? Just try jumping up onto your home's rooftop. No matter how fast you think you can jump, one can't launch more than a few feet off the ground, without a major catapault or human cannon or something. Upon leaving the atmosphere, that may be great for cutting wind resistance for improving airplane fuel economy, but results in a very low earth orbit, not very useful for satelites and such? And then no atmosphere anymore, to "push" off of.
     
  18. Pronatalist Registered Senior Member

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    750
    Wouldn't it help, if we first had a clue? Have any idea, how to make an "anti-gravity emitor," or even a "gravity emitor?"

    All the money in the world, isn't going to solve anything, if the physics only prove to be forever impossible.

    And what if we are on the wrong track to begin with? What if if takes a "dimensional shift" or something? And I haven't a clue how to do that either. Otherwise, wouldn't I be rich, selling my flying cars of the future?

    Maybe we could design a black hole of a research project, that simply sucks up all the money, without producing anything of merit?

    While somebody else tinkering in their garage, for free, comes up with the answer?

    BTW, I agree with your statement. Manipulating gravity seems the ideal way to do it. What better way to climb out of a huge gravity well, but to manipulate gravity? Too bad the movie magic of Star Trek, doesn't give us much clue as to how to actually do it, only helps us imagine slightly the sort of world that might result from such advancements.

    Warp and subspace "coils," that must be it? Too bad we haven't a clue how to build those either. And isn't "subspace" a figment of Star Trek's imagination?
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2008
  19. Pronatalist Registered Senior Member

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    750
    Sure, if all you want to do, is to do a "concept" prototype design. But it is Earth, that more would need such an elevator. Who cares what the weather is like on the moon? Do we need communications satellites around the moon, so a few astronauts can keep up-to-date with the latest stupid TV programs?

    Crazy religionists? Really? I would have though the crazy enviro-wackos would be all the more likely to stage protests against exploring such "unknown" territories? What huge anti-progress anti-human luddites they are!

    Hey, as long as we are making it "easier," why not just tie a string to a small asteroid? We could put a small toy-elevator upon the cable, just to prove the concept. Problem is, it wouldn't prove much of anything. A computer model would be even cheaper.
     
  20. Pronatalist Registered Senior Member

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    750
    And I wonder just how many people said something similar, about man going to the moon, when man was only going to the moon, in the comic books?
     
  21. Pronatalist Registered Senior Member

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    750
    Well that brings up yet another obvious question, as they have to ask when building really tall buildings. What if some lost airplane hits it? Will the cable simply be deflected "not much" and cut the airplane and engine in two? I imagine such a thin cable, wouldn't even be visible, until about a fraction of a second before hitting it. Will the FAA make them string marker lights all along the cable? Make that the bottom several miles of it.

    At least if some bird hits it, the bird would likely just "bounce off." I do presume, we don't care too much, what becomes of the bird? I don't really, as imagine all the bird encounters that likely already occur with airplanes and windmills or wind energy turbines.

    Yeah, I imagine a cable might not present quite so much wind cross-section, as maybe a billboard, and may simply "slice through" a hurricane, but then, what if the anchoring ship encounters a storm and sinks?

    But then, maybe the cable ices up the first day, and doesn't work to begin with? If only we had an atmosphere with no pesky water vapor, we could get it to work?
     
  22. Pronatalist Registered Senior Member

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    750
    Didn't I hear something about "deflector" or "navigational shields" for Star Treks warp drive? I guess that's supposed to answer the question why at such speeds, tiny little specks of something, don't punch holes all through the Enterprise.

    Sorry, I haven't a clue, how to equip a space elevator, with a deflector shield. Maybe that lost tiny screw from some old satellite, only breaks but a few of the fibers of the carbon nanotube? Nothing serious? No cascading unraveling?
     
  23. Syzygys As a mother, I am telling you Valued Senior Member

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    Unforeseen? I just gave 10 very foreseen reasons why it won't happen....

    Economy is just one of them... and Japan cornering the space elevator market??? That is a joke, like saying Albania is going to corner the perpeetum mobile market...
     
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