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Author Topic: Space elevator  (Read 6849 times)

Offline wolram

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Space elevator
« on: 17/02/2006 19:14:22 »

http://www.elevator2010.org/site/index.html

Surly a lengh of any thing able to reach into space will have serious
problems without some sort of (damper) to prevent serious oscilations
leading to catastrophic failure

A born optomist


 

another_someone

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Re: Space elevator
« Reply #1 on: 17/02/2006 19:42:10 »
And what happens when you get half way up, and someone cuts the rope?

OK, so it is a simplification, but it does seem to me that such a massive structure would be immensely vulnerable to both accident and malice.
 

Offline neilep

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Re: Space elevator
« Reply #2 on: 17/02/2006 20:18:57 »
I think the premise behind such an idea is that once it's in place and running, it saves on the risky business of sending craft into space for a whole myriad of reasons...economics being quite a high priority. It could be a life line for a space station, a way to transport goods , materials and supplies all without the cost and risk of launching a rocket/space plane etc. Certainly as far as air space and vunerability is concerned it could be a contentious issue and most certainly catastrophic if the worst kind of failure happened.

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Offline wolram

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Re: Space elevator
« Reply #3 on: 17/02/2006 20:32:55 »
I was thinking more about the variations of wind direction, strengh,in the earths atmosphere acting
on the tether.

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Offline neilep

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Re: Space elevator
« Reply #4 on: 17/02/2006 20:47:51 »
Absolutely..I agree. Presumably they will have to come up with some very advanced matehmatical models to even begin designing the thing taking all thos things into consideration.....materials for the construction of such an entity, how high they can go, it would have to be huge and the foundations for it even huger....especially if it's to transport large cargo.

Even if they fail to complete such a construction, no doubt lessons will be learned from the attempt.



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another_someone

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Re: Space elevator
« Reply #5 on: 17/02/2006 20:53:51 »
The only thing that had occurred to me a few times in the past is, rather than use a physical structure, could one not use a high energy microwave been (although I would not like to be a bird that strays through such a beam).
 

Offline neilep

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Re: Space elevator
« Reply #6 on: 17/02/2006 21:34:05 »
Wasn't there (or isn't there) a study into doing exactly that ?..except using some sort of pulsating light beam ?

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Offline wolram

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Re: Space elevator
« Reply #7 on: 17/02/2006 21:55:26 »
I think you are talking about high energy lasers, it has been demonstrated in labs that a vehicle
can be driven by such earth bound devices.

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sharkeyandgeorge

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Re: Space elevator
« Reply #8 on: 19/02/2006 16:28:10 »
there is a ben bovis book which has much too say about the possibilities of space elevators( yes i know its fiction)you might like to read it for the thoughts on the social and political ramifications of such a device and though im no expert on the subject i belive its basic design is based on scientific models though the construction method probably not i think the book is mercury and its a good read

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Offline ukmicky

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Re: Space elevator
« Reply #9 on: 19/02/2006 17:12:59 »
Cant see how it would be possible, any cable would have to be pulled up and i cant see how a cable  would be able to hold  its own weight when you consider how far space actually is.

but if it were possible it could be used as a power station as well as an elevator as i believe a cable extending out into space would pick up a charge.

Michael
« Last Edit: 19/02/2006 17:52:05 by ukmicky »
 

Offline wolram

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Re: Space elevator
« Reply #10 on: 19/02/2006 17:47:39 »

I have found this in depth article in Wikipedia, it is a very interesing
read.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_elevator

A born optomist
 

Offline neilep

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Re: Space elevator
« Reply #11 on: 19/02/2006 19:00:30 »
Nice one Robin...that just about covers it all...thanks.

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Offline DoctorBeaver

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Re: Space elevator
« Reply #12 on: 19/02/2006 20:41:48 »
Strangely enough I was reading about this exact topic last night at http://science.howstuffworks.com/space-elevator.htm

Also, has anyone read "Fountains Of Paradise" by Arthur C Clarke? I believe that's where the whole concept came from.
 

Offline neilep

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Re: Space elevator
« Reply #13 on: 19/02/2006 20:58:44 »
Another great link...thanks Eth.

I recall an episode of Star Trek Voyager where the space elevator was used...it was self propelled. Bit more high brow than Arthur C Clarke don't you think ? ;)


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Offline DoctorBeaver

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Re: Space elevator
« Reply #14 on: 21/02/2006 01:17:00 »
No, I don't [:(!]
 

Offline Ophiolite

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Re: Space elevator
« Reply #15 on: 18/03/2006 12:24:37 »
I just stumbled across this thread: here are a couple of points.

1. Star Trek Voyager more high brow than Arthur C. Clarke!??! Please reassure me that the wink was to confirm your tongue was in your cheek.

2. Clarke did not invent the concept. It had been independently 'invented' by at least two persons a decade or more earlier. Clarke popularised it. Another sf novel, by Charles Sheffield, also dealing with a space elevatore was published at the same time. I think it is a better read, but Clarke's name means his is the one that is remembered.

Observe; collate; conjecture; analyse; hypothesise; test; validate; theorise. Repeat until complete.
 

Offline tweener

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Re: Space elevator
« Reply #16 on: 19/03/2006 15:56:37 »
I know that NASA engineers have been studying the feasability of a space elevator for some time now.  Their conclusion is that it can't be done right now, but the engineering and materials challenges are not insurmountable.  The primary hurdle is developing a material strong enough yet light enough for the main cable.  There are such materials in the labratory now in the form of carbon nanotubes.  The challenge now is developing the technology for the size needed for this project.  Here is a link to a popular NASA article

 http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2000/ast07sep_1.htm

And here is one with lots of info and links:

http://www.spaceelevator.com

And here is an organization that sounds fun:

http://www.elevator2010.org/site/index.html

This is exciting work!  To me this is much more promising than the "cheap rockets" that are being touted by the X-prize and such.  The space elevator would be a permanent structure dedicated to the utilitarian aspects of getting off this planet's surface.

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ROBERT

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Re: Space elevator
« Reply #17 on: 20/03/2006 11:59:40 »
quote:
Originally posted by wolram

I was thinking more about...the earths atmosphere acting on the tether.



I agree Wolram, a "space tether" would be a lightning conductor for the whole earth.
 

Offline daveshorts

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Re: Space elevator
« Reply #18 on: 20/03/2006 16:33:29 »
If the teather breaks above you the consequenses are not that bad, because you are not orbiting very fast you do not have a lot of energy to loose so you probably won't burn up on reentry, so if you carry a parachute you will be fine, or you will be so high that you will go into a very elliptical orbit.
 

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Re: Space elevator
« Reply #18 on: 20/03/2006 16:33:29 »

 

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