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NASA offers prize for 'space elevator'

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posted on Apr, 26 2005 @ 11:21 AM
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NASA offers prize for 'space elevator'

Beams of light could propel cargo, humans

Fantastic? NASA has $400,000 in prize money riding on a competition to stimulate the innovative concept -- no matter how weird it may seem -- for sending people, spacecraft and robots directly out to Mars and the other planets of the solar system.

www.sfgate.com.../c/a/2005/04/25/MNGM4CEAPG1.DTL&

I read sometime back about NASA using a wire to produce power for the space station and it worked so well it melted the wire, so I guess using a wire is out, unless Hmmm maybe you produce power and lift cargo all with the same wire, yes I know I am dreaming.




posted on Apr, 26 2005 @ 11:23 AM
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Ever hear of Nanotubes? They should be able to withstand the punishment fairly well. Infact the only way a Space Elevator is going to be built is if we Harness the Nanotube(which we eventuallywill of course)



posted on Apr, 26 2005 @ 11:49 AM
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I think presenting a prize for the space elevator is great. But I doubt $400 grand would cover development costs. Still I like the idea of a space elevator, and you can get a better idea of how it works at the following link.
en.wikipedia.org...

One big problem I see with it is it would be vulnerable to a terrorist attack. But it would dramatically cut the cost per pound of sending something into orbit.



posted on Apr, 26 2005 @ 11:54 AM
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One big problem I see with it is it would be vulnerable to a terrorist attack.


Not really a big problem though just use restricted airspace and shoot down anything bigger then an ultralight as soon as said area is breached. Of course that is a hardass approach it will be necessary in order to safeguard the structure. If they take out the bottom the whole thing would just get flung into space due to the centrifical forces being subjected to it.



posted on Apr, 26 2005 @ 12:00 PM
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Well an airplane was the first thing I thought of, but I imagine there are other ways to snip the ribbon. What about something like a laser from a long distance? It might not be possible now, but in the future, who knows?



posted on Apr, 26 2005 @ 12:07 PM
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Originally posted by Hal9000
Well an airplane was the first thing I thought of, but I imagine there are other ways to snip the ribbon. What about something like a laser from a long distance? It might not be possible now, but in the future, who knows?


Yeah I was thinking of that as well, but again you gotta learn what the materials are gonna make up said ribbon and then think of what could go wrong. If the use Carbon as one of the major component then it could most likely withstand such an attack, CNT's are 1/6th the wieght of steel and can be up to 100x stronger, can conduct/insulate heat and electricity(depending on the composition) Nanotech is going to change the landscape to such a degree that the only thing im really worried about is unleashing Nano Disassemblers on the base or worse midway up the tether.



posted on Apr, 26 2005 @ 12:23 PM
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Originally posted by sardion2000
Nanotech is going to change the landscape to such a degree that the only thing im really worried about is unleashing Nano Disassemblers on the base or worse midway up the tether.

This is true, but if someone wants to unleash nano-bots, the space elevator would not be what I'm worried about. Ever read the book "Prey" by Michael Crichton? Scary stuff, but that comes with any new technology.



posted on Apr, 26 2005 @ 12:31 PM
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I'm a huge supporter of the "Space Elevator", and if I was a rich billionaire (Paul Allen or Bill Gates) I wuold sink billions into this.

Over the years i've done some extensive studing on the concept, and it would work. Currently there is a lot of work going on now trying to make it a reality, however its still at least a decade off. But I'm hoping one will be finished by 2020, though it will probably be fairly weak and slow, but it progress over time, I just wonder where first...Earth, moon, or Mars.
I have seen concepts of all the above however a Mars one wouldn't be a top priority, and allthough its cheaper and easier to do it on the moon since everything would be 1/6 its "earth weight", so the cable wouldn't have to be as strong or long as the earth one, However I think it will be built on earth first, simply because its where it would get the most use.



posted on Apr, 26 2005 @ 12:41 PM
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Ok, now lets say they use a cable from earth to a satellite.

How do you hold, or keep this thing in orbit?

Would not gravity put it back down?



posted on Apr, 26 2005 @ 12:44 PM
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Originally posted by SIRR1
Would not gravity put it back down?


No it would not. Look up centripetal force. The speed of the earth rotation and the placement of the satellite(in a lagrange point a place where gravity from the Earth and Moon cancel each other out) would keep it up there in fact you would have to tether it to the ground to keep it from flying off into space.

www.phy.ntnu.edu.tw...




This is true, but if someone wants to unleash nano-bots, the space elevator would not be what I'm worried about. Ever read the book "Prey" by Michael Crichton? Scary stuff, but that comes with any new technology.


Bah he just distorts the science to sell books, I prefer the real world and not some exagerated doomsday scenario


Interesting quote from this link posted above.. en.wikipedia.org...




A lunar space elevator would need to be very long—more than twice the length of an Earth elevator, but due to the low gravity of the moon, can be made of existing engineering materials.


And another link on a Lunar space elevator

en.wikipedia.org...

[edit on 26-4-2005 by sardion2000]



posted on Apr, 26 2005 @ 01:24 PM
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Originally posted by sardion2000
Bah he just distorts the science to sell books

I know, but there still fun to read.


I just had a thought. If we use the space elevator beyond the geosynchronous orbit, release to go to the moon, we could land pretty easy. Then to come back, either by conventional or by using the Lunar elevator, would we be able to grab the Earth space elevator, and climb down instead of re-entering the atmosphere the hard way? I don't recall that being mentioned.



posted on Apr, 26 2005 @ 09:28 PM
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On the topic of space elevators, I suggest you all read the Red Mars trilogy by Kim Stanley Robinson. They have an elevator on Mars which get's cut twice by terrorists.

As for the real thing, it IS possible just really really hard, expensive, and a good distance off. There have been a number of threads discussing it, and all end up at the same point: It's hard, expensive, and in the future.

The prize money is always there as an "incentive" when really the real point is to design it and to win. The X-Prize winner spent more than 10M on it, but so what? They did it.



posted on Apr, 27 2005 @ 09:38 PM
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on the link

www.sfgate.com.../c/a/2005/04/25/MNGM4CEAPG1.DTL&


I read this

NASA says it is more realistically seeking new materials combining "light weight and incredible strength" for spacecraft frames, instruments and cables, and new wireless technologies for transmitting power without any cables at all.


didint telsa do this? new wireless technologies for transmitting power without any cables at all.


to bad he is not here today to finaly get his reward.



posted on Apr, 27 2005 @ 10:24 PM
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New and new mean different things, especially when they're seperated by years upon years of technological advancement and.

The telephone was new. Fusion is new.



posted on Apr, 28 2005 @ 04:06 PM
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I recall reading that the space elevator is more feasable if it was used to transport equipment from the moon to space rather than earth. Since the moon has a sixth of the earth's gravit it is more realistic (in modern day technological terms) to engineer a strong enough tether to support a counterweight (satellite). The tether will be connected at the moons pole were frozen water is expected to be found and where sunlight is available nearly 24/7 (this is where a lunar base will be located).
The counterweight will be located at the point where the gravity between earth and the moon is in equilibrium or cancelled-out (or maybe just a tad beyond it so that the tether would be stretched).
The moonbase will serve the moon to Mars mission.

My question is what about all that junk in orbit. Its bound to be problematic sometime.

[edited] Well this site addresses that issue.
www.elevator2010.org...

[edit on 28/4/05 by JudahMaccabbi]



posted on Apr, 28 2005 @ 05:09 PM
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good site...JudahMaccabbi


With todays tech we could build one on the moon...but were not there (on the moon). By the time humans have perminent bases on the moon (2020-2025), the tether tech will be good enough for a earth to space one.



posted on Apr, 28 2005 @ 08:21 PM
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Originally posted by sardion2000

Originally posted by Hal9000
Well an airplane was the first thing I thought of, but I imagine there are other ways to snip the ribbon. What about something like a laser from a long distance? It might not be possible now, but in the future, who knows?


Yeah I was thinking of that as well, but again you gotta learn what the materials are gonna make up said ribbon and then think of what could go wrong. If the use Carbon as one of the major component then it could most likely withstand such an attack, CNT's are 1/6th the wieght of steel and can be up to 100x stronger, can conduct/insulate heat and electricity(depending on the composition) Nanotech is going to change the landscape to such a degree that the only thing im really worried about is unleashing Nano Disassemblers on the base or worse midway up the tether.

I was thinkin if maybe it could be harvested we could use a whole lot of Spider Silk. It is super strong and flexible, and maybe could be a component of the tether. Here is a link:
www.economist.com...



posted on Apr, 28 2005 @ 09:04 PM
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I think Spider Silk would be too elastic to be honest. I wonder if they could interweave it with CNT's or something like that. I wonder what would happen/if that is even possible.
Interesting, I have not thought about Spider Silk in a while as the Macro version became obsolete(except for MicroSutures) pretty quickly due to NanoFibers. Who knows maybe there is some other type of Nanotube that may do the job better, we just have to find out what it is, but Carbon is very ideal as we have quite alot of the stuff. This is why I want us to get off of Coal and Oil as those two resources will be invaluable when there is finally a market for Carbon Nanotubes.



posted on Apr, 29 2005 @ 08:34 AM
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Originally posted by Charlie Murphy
I was thinkin if maybe it could be harvested we could use a whole lot of Spider Silk. It is super strong and flexible, and maybe could be a component of the tether.

Spider silk is strong but according to Wikipedia carbon nanotubes are four times the tensil strength.



Ray Baughman's group from the NanoTech Institute at University of Texas at Dallas produced the current toughest material known in mid-2003 by spinning fibers of single wall carbon nanotubes with polyvinyl alcohol. Beating the previous contender, spider silk, by a factor of four, the fibers require 600J/g to break. In comparison, the bullet-resistant fiber Kevlar is 27-33J/g.

I have to laugh though when describing the failure mode of a break at 25Km.



Because proposed initial cables (the only ones likely to be broken) are very light and flat, the bottom portion would likely settle to Earth with less force than a sheet of paper due to air resistance on the way down.

This ribbon would probably wrap around the Earth at the equator as it is rotating. It would be like wrapping a present on a large scale.



posted on Apr, 29 2005 @ 09:44 AM
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Originally posted by Hal9000
This ribbon would probably wrap around the Earth at the equator as it is rotating. It would be like wrapping a present on a large scale.


Nah, you spin the counterweight with it, stays insync. Besides, what kind of present has a line across the middle as it's wrapping?



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