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Old 09-24-2005, 09:58 PM   #1
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space elevator or tower of babel

Are we really going to have an elevator to space....


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Old 09-24-2005, 10:55 PM   #2
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I posted some stuff about space elevators not too long ago. But this is the first "test" that I've heard of publicly.

The biggest thing that they are waiting on from what I've heard is to amass enough carbon nanotubes to complete an elevator capable of holding 10 tons. From what I've heard, the sites will be in the middle of the ocean for safety reasons.
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Old 09-25-2005, 01:36 AM   #3
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It's not really a matter of whether, but when. The basic physics behind the idea work, it's just a matter of materials science catching up with the idea. It will revolutionize the way we put things into orbit by reducing costs by orders of magnitude. I can't wait to see it work in practice
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Old 09-25-2005, 01:43 PM   #4
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Personally I look at it this way. Private sector space travel is going to be for the super insanely rich for at least several decades. I figure by the time the average person could save up and afford the cost of a trip to space, if I'm still alive I'll be old enough that a normal launch would be a major health risk. So the elevator is the best chance the average joe has for reaching space.

As for "can it be done?", Yes. The people that are investing in it now are long term investors. The guys that take big risks with a lot of money, expecting big returns on thier money in the future. I figure if you can convince those guys to part with millions of dollars for investing, there's a pretty good case for what your trying to be a viable project.
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Old 09-26-2005, 10:06 AM   #5
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Umm... I have two different views on this project.

1- If they ever manage to do actually build it, I see at couple of issues that I find concerning: At +60,000 miles, in the void of space, what would happen if air locks failed? Air from the ground would be sucked right out into space.... Maybe I am a bit fatalist, but it is food for thought.

2- Instead of wasting millions/billions on stuff like that, they should invest all that "play money" in scientific research for alternative energy sources. Anything based on petroleum based is bound to run dry one day. Then what? We all go back to horse and buggies?? Batteries are still too inefficient, in my mind, and electricity, for recharges, is not cheap.

A lot of people have grand ideas of developing/producing Star Trek technologies, but we are a long way from having anti matter engines or anti gravity propulsion systems.

Anyhoo, just my take on this.

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Old 09-26-2005, 10:25 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Serge
1- If they ever manage to do actually build it, I see at couple of issues that I find concerning: At +60,000 miles, in the void of space, what would happen if air locks failed? Air from the ground would be sucked right out into space.... Maybe I am a bit fatalist, but it is food for thought.
It's not quite going to work like that. I's pretty much like an elevator, with no shaft, just a really long cable. The "car" will lift itself up the cable while the cable stay stationary. So the only threat of disaster from an airlock failure would be the "loss" of anyone on board. but, if it's as I susspect, the car itself will not be preassurized, it makes the car lighter and safer. Any living matter that needs to stay preassureized would likely wear a suit or be in a preassurized container within the car itself.

as a side note, even if it were a tube the earths atmosphere would not be in any danger. Gravity is the only thing that keeps it in place currently, the tube wouldn't make it any different

Quote:
2- Instead of wasting millions/billions on stuff like that, they should invest all that "play money" in scientific research for alternative energy sources. Anything based on petroleum based is bound to run dry one day. Then what? We all go back to horse and buggies?? Batteries are still too inefficient, in my mind, and electricity, for recharges, is not cheap.
Most of this research is by private companies looking to make a significant return on investment. If they can make this successful without running into any major blocks (they already have FAA approval) they stand to make a LARGE amount of money.

Quote:
A lot of people have grand ideas of developing/producing Star Trek technologies, but we are a long way from having anti matter engines or anti gravity propulsion systems.
We're not as far off as you might think...
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Old 09-26-2005, 12:31 PM   #7
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BillyZ I must compliment you on your diplomatic skills in that reply.
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Old 09-26-2005, 12:36 PM   #8
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Imagine where such a thing would be placed.....weather issues would be a big factor.
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