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Titan space elevator could fuel the solar system.

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posted on Apr, 14 2016 @ 05:09 AM
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I recently read that Titan has more hydrocarbons than all of Earths reserves. So an idea comes to mind, build a space elevator on Titan, and you could pull up tanker ships, fill them with say methane, and fly them back to Earth. They would use a percentage of their stored fuel to get back. As long as the returned with enough material to make the trip cost effective it could work. Of course you would have to have multiple ships in a supply train to make it work, they could be totally automated unmanned drones. They could then pull up to a space elevator on Earth, and offload the fuel. Of course the downside of this is that our planet would get VERY polluted, and I am not sure about the mechanics of building a space elevator on Titan, but if we were able to do it, we would in effect have a gas station in space that we could use to explore the solar System. Arthur C. Clarke once wrote a novel about it, although he used shuttles with scoops instead of a space elevator. Is this a crazy idea? Would it work?
edit on 14-4-2016 by openminded2011 because: (no reason given)




posted on Apr, 14 2016 @ 05:11 AM
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a reply to: openminded2011

A simpler solution would be to stop relying on hydrocarbons.

Progress is irrelevant if the technology ends up damaging the biosphere with even higher levels of pollution. Since we humans are part of the biosphere, we would basically be ensuring our own downfall, along with millions of species.


edit on 14-4-2016 by swanne because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 14 2016 @ 05:18 AM
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a reply to: openminded2011

People steer away from you at parties...and this is why....



posted on Apr, 14 2016 @ 05:26 AM
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I am saving this reply...it works for a bucket load of ATS threads...and explains a lot, on many levels...

"People steer away from you at parties...and this is why....'

Cheers



posted on Apr, 14 2016 @ 05:28 AM
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a reply to: JaMeDoIt
Look up. Literally,


EDIT: OP I have insufficient knowledge to tell you if it would work or not and if it could theoretically work I am not certain if it would be cost effective, but like another commentator suggested would it not be easier to get off of hydrocarbons and onto renewable sources of energy? The only way I could see it working is as you said a source of fuel for further exploration, but with renewable sources this would not be an issue. Though are say solar powered engines capable of the power of the current rockets?
edit on 14-4-2016 by Tiamat384 because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 14 2016 @ 05:32 AM
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a reply to: openminded2011

Reminds me of the elevators in Kim Stanley Robinson's Green Mars trilogy.

Don't listen to those members up there^^ both are struggling to bring anything of substance to the forum.



posted on Apr, 14 2016 @ 05:32 AM
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originally posted by: swanne
a reply to: openminded2011

A simpler solution would be to stop relying on hydrocarbons.



This. By the time our technology is sufficiently advanced to allow us to build a space elevator on Titan and start shipping industrial quantities of hydrocarbons around the solar system, we will probably have advanced beyond burning hydrocarbons for energy.

A more out-there use for resources from Titan (or elsewhere in the outer solar system) would be to help terraform Mars. Mars' atmosphere is about 1% as dense as Earth's. This creates challenges for us at present (vehicles like the Curiosity rover which will land on Mars need to have aerodynamic shells but can't really use the atmosphere to slow down), and it will create big problems if we want to terraform the planet the planet. There isn't enough atmosphere to hold in heat, and the low pressure will force colonists to wear some sort of pressure suit while on the surface for a long time to come.

A number of science fiction stories, including the Mars Trilogy by Kim Stanley Robinson, have featured the importing of nitrogen from Titan to Mars to help build up a breathable atmosphere (Earth's atmosphere is 78% nitrogen).



posted on Apr, 14 2016 @ 05:36 AM
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a reply to: PhloydPhan

Indeed.

Though an even cheaper alternative to make Mars more breathable would be to grow a vegetation on Mars. Import a moss which breaks down Martian rocks into soil for trees, then plant trees which convert CO2 to oxygen.

But your idea still holds for augmenting atmospheric pressure.



edit on 14-4-2016 by swanne because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 14 2016 @ 05:39 AM
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A better solution would be to harvest Helium-3 from the moon and get some Fusion going, Titan is a tad far away.

SOURCE



The idea of harvesting a clean and efficient form of energy from the Moon has stimulated science fiction and fact in recent decades. Unlike Earth, which is protected by its magnetic field, the Moon has been bombarded with large quantities of Helium-3 by the solar wind. It is thought that this isotope could provide safer nuclear energy in a fusion reactor, since it is not radioactive and would not produce dangerous waste products.



posted on Apr, 14 2016 @ 05:44 AM
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It takes a non-trivial amount of fuel to shift a body (ship) from the orbit of Saturn to the orbit of earth... only a fraction of the initial fuel would arrive unused, if it were even appropriate for propelling a rocket in the first place. The other part of that equation is that you need tons of liquid oxygen for the trip from Titan to burn most fuels... where on Titan would that be sourced?

How many of these ships do you envision? How are the raw materials that these ships are made of going to get into even a stable earth orbit? The part of the Apollo missions that actually made it to orbit was less than 20% of the mass of the entire rocket. Figure how many rockets it would take to bring up enough materials to assemble and fuel these tanker ships you are picturing for their initial trip to Saturn...

It has taken an international effort to put up the 500 tons of material that composes the international space station.

That is probably 2% the mass of one of these freighters you are describing...

If mankind was capable of what you just suggested, I am pretty sure we would have zero reliance on hydrocarbon fuels at that point, and would be far down the fusion energy pathway that already seems to be opening up shortly.



posted on Apr, 14 2016 @ 05:45 AM
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a reply to: swanne

Yeah - Mars probably has enough oxygen (bound up in iron oxide and other rocks on the surface or bound to CO2) and greenhouse gases (in the form of C02 either in the atmosphere as a gas or as dry ice at the poles) to at least begin terraforming (assuming we had the other technology). What it lacks is a decent buffer gas. Nitrogen fits that bill nicely here on Earth.



posted on Apr, 14 2016 @ 06:31 AM
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Once all the stored methane on earth, yes, good idea, at the moment Russian permafrost is full of the stuff, and the Arctic ocean bed is full too, and leaking, so lets use that up first?



posted on Apr, 14 2016 @ 07:37 AM
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a reply to: openminded2011

We're looking at a very dangerous state of affairs if we ever do start using the resources from another planet here. People just don't seem to learn from our own history, we know that sucking all the resources out of one location and using them in another causes massive ecological imbalances which have an impact on thousands of species of animal and plant life - including us Humans.

This happens here on Earth all the time, and we just don't seem to be learning from it.

If we started bringing all kinds of sh*t from other planets to this one, it would absolutely throw our own planet so far off its carefully balanced equilibrium that we would risk massive damage.

We can't simply start mining other planets and start loading up our planet with all this extra material and expect nothing bad to happen. We should treat this planet as a closed ecosystem, and treat all other planets in much the same way if we ever get that far.

Of course we won't do that, because we're an arrogant, ignorant species eating up everything we can find like some kind of deranged cockroach.



posted on Apr, 14 2016 @ 08:47 AM
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a reply to: openminded2011

Bad ideas burning those hydrocarbons on earth, very bad idea.

BUT use them on say Mars or the moon? Great idea.

Kid hydrocarbons have more uses than just fuel. Even if we had fusion drives hydrocarbons are used for plastics and even in medications ando domestic chemicals.
edit on 14-4-2016 by crazyewok because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 14 2016 @ 09:29 AM
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originally posted by: JaMeDoIt
I am saving this reply...it works for a bucket load of ATS threads...and explains a lot, on many levels...

"People steer away from you at parties...and this is why....'

Cheers


How about you don't, and thereby not contribute snide, useless, rude remarks. 2 members with a total of 10 weeks since registration can contribute nothing except to be rude to the OP? Is that really the best you can contribute to the thread?



posted on Apr, 14 2016 @ 09:38 AM
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a reply to: openminded2011

Outstanding idea, let´s waste fuel, time, technology and materials to get more hydrocarbons to earth so we can polute it even more.



posted on Apr, 14 2016 @ 10:04 AM
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I have a better idea !

Someone on Titan strike a match,
Then on Earth we can have an ooooh Ahhhhh moment as it goes up in a light show.



posted on Apr, 14 2016 @ 10:20 AM
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a reply to: samkent

No free oxygen.



posted on Apr, 14 2016 @ 12:20 PM
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a reply to: openminded2011

You could have entered the Space Elevator Competition but, sadly, you missed the deadline.



posted on Apr, 14 2016 @ 12:30 PM
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originally posted by: swanne
a reply to: openminded2011

A simpler solution would be to stop relying on hydrocarbons.

Progress is irrelevant if the technology ends up damaging the biosphere with even higher levels of pollution. Since we humans are part of the biosphere, we would basically be ensuring our own downfall, along with millions of species.



I believe that one day we will stop burning hydrocarbons. We will never stop using them however. Most modern tech is formed from hydrocarbons. We also need it to lubricate our machines. We also use them for food additives, medicine, and even clothing. We use them for plastics, insulation, ect...

We should quit wasting hydrocarbons as fuel and use it as raw material, the way it was intended.



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