Build a Space Elevator
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22-02-2013, 02:03 AM
Build a Space Elevator
http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_elevator

A far more effective way to spend NASA dollars in a cash strapped economy than dreams about manned moon or Mars missions. If we can develop a space elevator we can dramatically cut the costs of moving and supplies into orbit around the earth and would provide a very effective platform for building permanent space colonies, and planetary missions. The country which can successfully develop and implement a space elevator will control the final frontier.

First we need to build a basic technology demonstrator of the space elevator. Next would be the implementation of a large scale elevator with a useful payload of, say, 40 tons to geosynchronous orbit.

From there even larger elevators with useful loads of over 100 tons equipped with geosynchronous orbit launch platforms and a permanent colony at the end of the counterweight having earth normal gravity.

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22-02-2013, 02:16 AM
RE: Build a Space Elevator
Problem: carbon nanotubes still aren't strong enough. The strongest varieties we have are right on the cusp of being able to practically do a space elevator... Just barely. The margins are thin. We could maybe work with that, except we can't yet manufacture them with any real quantity. We can't even make nanotubes longer than a few meters, let alone >500,000km.

Oh, but couldn't NASA help advance nanotube technology? Not really... NASA in its current incarnation is not set up for pioneering chemical research or mass production of chemicals. NASA is full of rocket scientists and engineers and physicists; they don't have the people with the skills needed to make groundbreaking progress in carbon nanotubes (let alone the budget), and why hire the chemists and nanotechnologists who do have those skills, when they're already working on this technology in the private sector?


The space elevator is tantalizingly close, I know, but we just aren't there yet. It's killing me too. I am honestly convinced that building a space elevator will be one of the crowning achievements of mankind and one of the greatest steps forward for our civilization and our species, period. But we're just not there yet.


Maybe in 20 - 40 years. Maybe then we can start.

E 2 = (mc 2)2 + (pc )2
614C → 714N + e + ̅νe
2 K(s) + 2 H2O(l) → 2 KOH(aq) + H2 (g) + 196 kJ/mol
It works, bitches.
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22-02-2013, 02:22 AM
Build a Space Elevator
I hope we get close before I die!

He's not the Messiah. He's a very naughty boy! -Brian's mum
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22-02-2013, 02:25 AM (This post was last modified: 22-02-2013 02:57 AM by Tamril.)
RE: Build a Space Elevator
Well a nice thought but I don't really think that's going to work (never say never). They would need a spacestation or something like a plattform in space that is not moving from our perspective so v(spacestation)=v(earth). Humankind already uses geostationary satellites but I don't think this kind of elevator in that hight would be useful. [Image: Geostationary_orbit.png] Its too far away from the moon to get to it. The only reason I could see in it is building something like a big spaceship so that we don't need to use a lot of energy to get it into space. (building something in a area with low gravity takes a lot of time and is a hard job).
Another problem would be the connection between these two (earth and platform). I dont think I need to say something about the material because phaedrus said it already. Furthermore I want to add that also this connection will have a mass and therefore is faster than the satellite and the earth (relativly). This means that the connection will be lost at sometime or that the connection mass will free the satelite from it's orbit, plus there are still normal satelites between the earth and the platform, which could cause damage by colliding. Thats the reason why I think it's sci-fi and sorry my english isnt the best anymore Smile need to improve it again somehow Smile
Pic: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/co..._orbit.png Seen : 22.02.2013 9:24 am
ps: nice siginature Tongue

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22-02-2013, 03:07 AM
RE: Build a Space Elevator
Nope.

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22-02-2013, 03:08 AM
RE: Build a Space Elevator
You misunderstand the concept, Tamril. The structure is completely feasible. It's help up by centripetal force.

It's massively beneficial. Current space launch technology can cost US$3000 - $10,000 per kg in orbit. A space elevator reduces that cost to around $1 - $10 per kg. And it's much easier. Also, any vehicle launched from the counterweight would get a massive velocity boost.

Remember, in space it isn't the distance that's important, it's the energy. The space elevator reduces the energy required to get to orbit by orders of magnitude, and can give you a free energy boost to other areas in the solar system. Plus there is no limit on how much mass can be lifted over the life of the elevator, unlike rockets... The benefits go on and on. And the ONLY thing standing in the way is materials.

E 2 = (mc 2)2 + (pc )2
614C → 714N + e + ̅νe
2 K(s) + 2 H2O(l) → 2 KOH(aq) + H2 (g) + 196 kJ/mol
It works, bitches.
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22-02-2013, 03:16 AM
RE: Build a Space Elevator
Otis would have a hell of a time maintaining it I'll tell you that.

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22-02-2013, 07:27 AM
RE: Build a Space Elevator
Yeah, we need to do this as a species but the tolerances in the cable must be sufficient to give it a lifetime that pays for capturing the asteroid/anchor and dealing with all of the risks and problems of the project. Once we have one put up and functioning I think we'll see several and then dozens more pop up over the subsequent decades.

We are now able to produce fairly decent nanotube "ropes", but these are fibres of a few cm each worked together into a rope rather than long fibres lashed together. The carbon fibre industry is growing though, so it will be interesting to see whether we start to get some kind of moore's law of longer and longer fibres being produced over time. the fibres only need to reach about 35786km. If we can double the length every 10 years starting from 18.5cm in 2009 then we should be there some time in the 2250s Smile

Give me your argument in the form of a published paper, and then we can start to talk.
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22-02-2013, 06:36 PM (This post was last modified: 22-02-2013 06:39 PM by DeepThought.)
RE: Build a Space Elevator
I'm a bit sceptical about the space elevator concept. One of the major problems - design tolerance. Radiation damage or debris in orbit hitting that cable that is already at its design limit.

Also what happens as you have this massive cable cutting through Earth's magnetic field? It generates huge amounts of electricity... just more stuff that cable needs to withstand.

A lunar space elevator is possible. On earth I would consider the other options..

I didn't see a laser launch system mentioned here. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laser_propulsion

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22-02-2013, 07:20 PM
RE: Build a Space Elevator
Well so either im stupid or im too smart too understand it, but I have a force going to the center of the earth (gravitation). I also have a rotation speed of the earth (24 hours/day rotation z-axis) okay now : Imagen a ball that string is in the middle of your fist and you start to swing it, that the ball circels your fist. You see that the string is wapping around your fist. Okay now imagen a hugh metalstring that is in a right angel to the earth. Gravitation always goes to the middle of the mass (earthcenter) this means its like the ball's string in your fist. okay now because this case isnt that easy, we talk about a mass in space and his relative speed to the earth rotation. everything farer away than the geostationary orbit is slower than the earth's rotation (of course the mass will stay in his orbit) My point is the string would be (sure slowly) wapping around the earth which is useless.
My next point is that we still need the energy to bring the elevator up to the spacestation (of course we need less energy than by using a rocket because the mass is smaller Epot=m*g*h). But from my point of view we have E(all)=E(start)-E(frictional), okay with this in mind we need to get the string up there which causes a lot of problems (material, energy for the start, cuz hugh mass, big influenze of gravitation and diffenrent relatives speeds towards earth etc.)
Another thing to mention is the use of the spacestation. Im sure it would be amazing to build a spaceship or something like it in outerspace, but we have problems with radiation, low temprature, low gravity, and therefore special suites that are not made for constucting a spaceship Big Grin .But im sure the last point is not that big of a deal because we maybe can build a suit to fit our needs.

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