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Scientists Might Have Accidentally Solved The Hardest Part Of Building Space Elevators

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posted on Oct, 13 2014 @ 04:12 PM
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Scientists Might Have Accidentally Solved The Hardest Part Of Building Space Elevators


Vincent Crespi Lab/Penn State University Diamond nanothreads are only a few atoms across, more than 20,000 times thinner than a human hair. They're also stronger and stiffer than any carbon nanotube or polymer to date, which could make them an ideal option for a space elevator tether.

A space elevator is essentially a cable anchored to the Earth's equator and attached to a counterweight somewhere way above Earth's atmosphere — much higher than satellites in orbit. Having one would allow us to send cargo into space for a fraction of the cost of using rockets and allow us to harvest vast amounts of solar energy by placing solar collectors well above the Earth's atmosphere, where the sun never stops shining.

Finding a material strong enough to serve as a tether is one of the most daunting technical challenges standing in the way.

Earlier this year, however, researchers may have accidentally discovered the best candidate yet for building a space elevator. A set of diamond nanothreads created under immense pressures in a lab might rival or exceed the strength of carbon nanotubes , which are 100 times stronger than steel.

A little bit of luck

John Badding of Penn State University and his team discovered that liquid benzene, when subjected to extreme pressure (around 200,000 times the pressure at the surface of the Earth) and then slowly relieved of that pressure, forms extremely thin, tight rings of carbon that are structurally identical to diamonds.

In other words, if you could unravel a diamond like you can a piece of fabric, you'd get these far-out threads. The result is a chain, thousands of times thinner than a human hair, that has the potential to be the strongest, stiffest material ever discovered.

The discovery was something of an accident, but far from a hapless one. The team used a large, high-pressure device called the Paris-Edinburgh device at Tennessee's Oak Ridge National Laboratory to compress a 6-millimeter wide quantity of liquid benzene — a huge amount compared with previous experiments. The volume of liquid benzene, coupled with the size of the device, forced them to relieve the pressure more slowly than they would have otherwise.


Click link for remainder of article..

Sometimes I feel as if Humanity is in a neck and neck race between killing each other into extinction and finding that technology that could change the world.

Pretty cool if it works out.




posted on Oct, 13 2014 @ 04:15 PM
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Build it and they will rise.

Just a matter of time until these new type of materials solve many of the unsolvables.



posted on Oct, 13 2014 @ 04:26 PM
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Nice find

edit on 13-10-2014 by bluemooone2 because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 13 2014 @ 04:27 PM
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Unbreakable mountainbikes!I like this stuff already.

It's going to be expensive,isn't it?



posted on Oct, 13 2014 @ 04:32 PM
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Wondering what would happen if they actually succeed in grounding the earths enormous electro magnetic field.

My Spidey sense tingles as I imagine the biggest lighting arc ever. *Sizzle* goes whatever puny human filament we invent to hold the current.



posted on Oct, 13 2014 @ 04:54 PM
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a reply to: Xcathdra

Very interesting, I always favoured a ballistic velocity magneto accelerated non reactive launch system using subterranean vacuum launch tubes and superconductive magnetic acceleration systems like a giant rail gun, far cheaper than the shuttle and rocket's when multiple launch and falicilty lifetime are factored in, this material however also has potentials for new fabric's, space craft skin's and air craft skin as well as possible conductive property's, it is highly interesting and an alternative would be a ground tethered lighter than air high altitude platform using vacuum bags made of this material held open by rigid frames made of this or similar material to so reduce the overall density of the platform creating possitive bouyance and enable it to serve as a high altitude launch station, city's in the sky.



posted on Oct, 13 2014 @ 05:44 PM
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a reply to: Xcathdra

Nice find, I just found out about these space elevators the other day. I guess we now have to decide wether to have the base at sea or land-based. hmmm... might not be a bad time to buy some shares in commercial space flight companies if you can!



posted on Oct, 13 2014 @ 06:06 PM
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Is this the same kind of high-strength tensile thread that was used in RingWorld to hold the sun squares in place?

www.technovelgy.com...



posted on Oct, 13 2014 @ 06:07 PM
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We should already have a permanent orbiter around the Moon and a Space Elevator from the Moon's surface, relaying isotopic Helium (H-3) to Earth.

This should be the medium-term goal of the space program, not wasting money trying to do an untenable Mars mission.



posted on Oct, 13 2014 @ 08:21 PM
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I think i saw the end result of an unbeakable diamond once on an episode of Futurama.

Though I can't be sure, my day has been completely off kilter. I think i can relate to people who talk about timeslips. Just strange stuff and foundoutsomeone who I could swear was dead is on facebook and apperantly alive.

Sorry, back on topic. I can't freakin wait.. We were supposed to already have this, and jet packs, and flying cars... Want



posted on Oct, 13 2014 @ 08:37 PM
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originally posted by: Aleister
Build it and they will rise.

Just a matter of time until these new type of materials solve many of the unsolvables.


Very true. But that will only happen when we get past one very important hurdle.....profit motive.



posted on Oct, 13 2014 @ 10:17 PM
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Alright but I want the same elevator with a Down option.

We are so wimpy when it comes to drilling into the depths of the Earth.
What are we up to, a whopping 7 miles deep? I know "oh the pressure.. it hurts !"

all kidding aside I can't wait to see if the long awaited idea of a space elevator
is feasible. And how heavy the loads can be .



posted on Oct, 14 2014 @ 08:39 AM
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a reply to: Aleister

there is no way that i would travel on it until they clean up all that space debris floating around our little planet

we still get planes crashing after being hit with a flock of birds , imagine what the impact of some old satellite or meteor would have .



posted on Oct, 14 2014 @ 08:59 AM
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originally posted by: tom.farnhill
a reply to: Aleister

there is no way that i would travel on it until they clean up all that space debris floating around our little planet

we still get planes crashing after being hit with a flock of birds , imagine what the impact of some old satellite or meteor would have .


It makes one wonder if some system could be developed based on this discovery to be solely used in cleaning up that debris.



posted on Oct, 14 2014 @ 09:26 AM
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I thought the biggest problem would be to do something about that annoying elevator music.



posted on Oct, 14 2014 @ 09:43 AM
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Cool stuff. I hope something like this can come to fruition in my lifetime. They're going to need a way to be able to mass produce it in larger quantities to make it practical, though.

Does this mean Minnie the Moocher can have her diamond car now? The platinum wheels will have to wait.
edit on 14-10-2014 by Junkheap because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 14 2014 @ 10:24 AM
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originally posted by: Beartracker16
I thought the biggest problem would be to do something about that annoying elevator music.



What..... 3 hours of The Girl from Ipanema in D with no vocals not up your alley?




posted on Oct, 14 2014 @ 10:28 AM
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originally posted by: Junkheap
Cool stuff. I hope something like this can come to fruition in my lifetime. They're going to need a way to be able to mass produce it in larger quantities to make it practical, though.

Does this mean Minnie the Moocher can have her diamond car now? The platinum wheels will have to wait.


Growing up I never thought I would have seen private industry taking over NASA functions. That alone tells me that we are on track for more and more private endeavors dealing with space.

The fact a private group was able to figure out something relating to space and an answer to that problem tells me that private industry will become more and more involved in space. While we might not get to benefit from the advances they will make, its nice to be present at the start of that industry.



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