# Space Elevator

Discussion in 'General Science & Technology' started by Deena, Aug 23, 2002.

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1. ### DeenaHomicideRegistered Senior Member

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Last edited: Aug 26, 2002

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5. ### DeenaHomicideRegistered Senior Member

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Well whoopty-doo.

That's too old for me to find. Anyway. Is a new thread so bad? This is about the project actually taking place too.

7. ### Avatarsmoking revolverValued Senior Member

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not really
do as you like

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9. ### Avatarsmoking revolverValued Senior Member

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so- not to be attacked as a trash chatter

what do you think of ways to hold it stable up to the orbit- what would you attach to the high end , to make it more stable and not to sway?

sattelite is a bad idea, because it'll need a lot of energy to hold it one place (I think

)

10. ### DeenaHomicideRegistered Senior Member

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I don't have anywhere near the know-how to understand the intricacies outside what I've read in the article. What's important to me is that it IS getting built. It may fall through half-way into it but it IS being attempted.

That's what I wanted to share.

11. ### kmguruStaff Member

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I think, the idea is to put a many ton space station at the other end and use long cylindrical payload system to reduce wind effect. ...It will still sway while going up but will settle down where the air is thinner.

12. ### Thor"Pfft, Rebel scum!"Valued Senior Member

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Far out

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A space elevator? :bugeye: The g's it would take to shoot people up that high would crush anything, flat as a pancake.

Astronauts already suffer from it when launching, and they will be going much much faster in a shuttle than in an elevator.

Another problem: Conductivity of electricity. The CN Tower already gets multiple annual hits of lightning, and it's one of the tallest structures in the world. A space elevator would be like a giant lightning rod!

Or structural support...how would we go about supporting this massive structure sticking out at an angle off the surface of Earth? One way would be to attach one end to the Moon, because it always faces us...But then what would we use to build the connecting axle out of? I don't think we have anything that would be strong enough yet, for this kind of a task.

(This is all I can think of for now, w/o reading the other threads on space elevators)

14. ### DeenaHomicideRegistered Senior Member

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Don't astronauts experienced increased gravitational force BECAUSE they move faster?

Yeah, I think they do.

And if you're going to post on my thread, read my article. There is a marterial strong enough, smarty. It's new. Carbon nanotubes.

15. ### Adam§Þ@ç€ MØnk€¥Registered Senior Member

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A good reason why it can't ever be allowed to happen: elevator music. Can you imagine being subjetced to The Girl From Ipanema for three days straight?

16. ### WalkerHard Work!Registered Senior Member

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But imagine all the Burt Bacharach tunes! Send me to the moon!

17. ### wet1WandererRegistered Senior Member

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Carbon nanotubes may well be strong enough however their expense to make is prohibitively high.

To bring Q's post back,

18. ### DeenaHomicideRegistered Senior Member

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Well the company appears to be ready to pay any where from 7 to 10 billion.

19. ### wet1WandererRegistered Senior Member

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That might get us to skyscraper level...

Then again not, that works out to $1,680,000 per ton. The Empire state building is 1454 feet high and weighs 365,000 tons. That's$613,200,000,000. True, carbon nanotubes will not weigh the amount of steel and concrete but then nowhere has the other costs such as construction man hours and other materials come into play. Almost always the cost of labor far outscales the cost of material. And this cost is only for the carbon nanotubes and not nearly enough for the job. Also I am not sure we are competent in the moving of asteriods into geosynchronous orbits in safety. Nor are we anywhere near being able to manufacture in continous strings.

By the link of your article, that figure you quoted is their estimation for the initial cost, not what they have in pocket. By reading the article you can see that their initial estimate is for a small ribbon not the full scale article. With many things to be tested, such as the durability of nanotubes to space enviroment and an interesting one of acid exposure due to atmosphere. One I did not see mentioned is the abitilty to withstand lightning and how they will electrically ground this structure. There should be a huge potential for gathering energy from it. Static electricity generated would be tremendous. On a small scale we already see the potential that could be there on aircraft of the present day. Anyone familar with aircraft and hot-fueling techiques already knows what a hazard it is to approach and touch a recently landed craft.

As an interesting side note, this structure would be a hazard to anything approaching it in the air. The Empire State Building mentioned in the early part of this post raditates lightning on occasion from the aerials (which were not counted as part of the height of the structure) in the top. The winds flowing by this building are the source of static generation.

However, I think it great that some folks are finally crunching numbers and testing materials in hopes of producing such a structure. It would be the key to accessing space on a reasonable budget, if it were ever built.

20. ### JoemanEviiiiiiiil ClownRegistered Senior Member

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I have read articles on space elevator before. It is very possible. You can't have transportation between earth and mars, but it's possible to lift stuff to ionosphere, like a satellite. It will save money from having to launch space shuttles.

The elevator itself will be built from carbon nanotube. It is toughest thing known to mankind. It has some problems. First it has to achieve geo-synchronous orbit with very low error. It is not possible right now from what I have read. Any tiny error will cause the elevator to swing around. When the elevator start to swing, the elevator might start to resonate and eventually break. Also to achieve geo-synchronous orbit, it needs to be 3400 miles long I believe in order to have conservation of angular momentum. That is pretty damn long. If terrorists blow it up, just think what damage it will cause.

21. ### FrencheneeszAmazing MemberRegistered Senior Member

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This space elevator idea is interesting, but the only way it would be at all a good idea was if it could last maybe 150 years. The price of building a cable to space is so high that it would just be less expensive to keep doing what we are doing for the next 50 years.
Even the initial building cost doesn't calculate maintainence, a thing like that has got to have some pretty stressful problems like that. Also, its not GOING to last so long. The longests space station ever up was only up for maybe 15 years (probably less). And the expected life was considerable less then it ended up being.
Not only that, but an offshore thing with a cable attached to it might just get carried off by momentum! They got to have that anchored to the ocean floor if they want to use earths spin. I don't want to do the Trig, but it would be going super-speeds up there, how fast do satelites go? A huge ton of metal up there would definitely have some pull potential.
that isnt the main problem (they can get around that), but the price of building and maintainence is so high that it is just not going to happen. Its not efficient.
If conserving, or not using fossil fuels, we can use hydrogen, and we can actually use pure electricity with new technology (i dont understand it, but it looks interesting).

Frencheneesz

22. ### wet1WandererRegistered Senior Member

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Anchoring would indeed be a problem, especially in the ocean. It would still have tremendous stress on it even if it were perfectly balanced. Putting it in the ocean would only complicate matters as you would have to go to bedrock to get stability for anchoring. (of couse you would have ot go to bed rock in any event) The problem is that you increase the likehood of failure in the parts that connect the anchoring to the structure. Also the monitoring of the anchoring and surrounding bedrock material would be a necessity to insure you had adquate warning should the anchor start to fail. Ideally you would want it so that if anything happened to it's anchor that it would have enough momentum to rise above mountainous terrain should it sever. (Not likely, I admit, that the structure would rise) The odds of damage to earthly structures would be tremendous for anything in its way should it sever. Multi-ton masses are not kind on fixed structures. Worse, if the carbon ribbon failed and broke in the middle, or say the structure recieved a shock at some point where the cold of space might make it brittle, it would prove disastrous. Should that happen there is no telling what would be damaged in the fall. Even in the ocean as a start point, this would seem to fall endlessly. Depending on where it severed, it would be feasiable that this thing could wrap 1/2 around the world. It would not be easy to remove.

23. ### Avatarsmoking revolverValued Senior Member

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yes- it's probably an utopic idea till antigravity is discovered