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SCI/TECH: Space Elevator Plant To Open This Summer

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posted on Apr, 27 2005 @ 02:48 PM
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LiftPort, a firm of Bremerton, announced yesterday it would open a plant in New Jersey to start work on a space elevator. The plant will be working on producing the carbon nanotubes that will make up the 62,000 mile long and eight inch wide cable. They expect to be done in 13 years. LiftPort is also working on the robots that will go up and down the cable, as well as trying to sell their products to the community as a source of income. Millville, the location for the plant, as already donated 100,000 USD to build the plant.
 



seattlepi.nwsource.com
LiftPort Inc. of Bremerton said it will open a plant in New Jersey this summer to produce the building blocks for a 62,000-mile-long elevator cable into outer space. The privately held company said a newly created division, called LiftPort Nanotech Inc., in June will begin operating a 3,000-square-foot plant in Millville, N.J., to produce carbon nanotubes.

Carbon nanotubes are pure carbon that is shaped into tubes one ten-thousandth the diameter of a human hair and one one-thousandth a hair's diameter in length. Roughly 60 times stronger than steel, it is the only substance that could be used to construct the elevator cable, which is actually a ribbon about 8 inches wide, the company said. The ribbon will be anchored in midocean to a platform, stretching 62,000 miles into space and attached at the far end to a small, orbiting counterweight, said LiftPort founder and Chief Executive Michael Laine, 37.

The company is also making good progress in developing the climbing robots, Laine said. Pending approval by the Federal Aviation Administration, it will test a climbing robot this summer, sending it up a string tethered to a hot-air balloon.


Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


Company Website

We've discussed this for ages here at ATS, and it's been discussed for centuries by various groups and people. I personally had no idea we were at this phase along the developmental stage. I would've said we were a decade at least from even thinking about beginning to build.

There are countless, countless issues however. The first one of course is how to get it up there. You don't just store 62,000 miles of cable in a warehouse. You gotta get it up into space and you gotta attach the counter-weight. That's why I always liked the idea of building it on the weight, and sending it down. Then there's terrorism, which is always painfully easy in these circumstances (some discussed below). Then the response by nations - will they accept it? Who has rights? Who can charge, who can use, and so on and so forth.

Can of worms or not, still a great announcement.

Related AboveTopSecret.com Discussion Threads:
NASA offers prize for 'space elevator'




posted on Apr, 27 2005 @ 08:32 PM
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Man this is awesome. Finally someone has taken the steps to actually move forward into the future instead of staying at a standstill. This thing needs to get voted on pronto. I already gave it a yes.



posted on Apr, 27 2005 @ 09:17 PM
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Sounds pretty cool. Only I'm wondering how is the company going to make a profit on this? Either way it's pretty good news that someone is actually helping to make some progress on such a cool concept. Good luck and best of wishes to them
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posted on Apr, 27 2005 @ 09:30 PM
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Well I read in the article and theier website that they are selling the nanocarbon produced in their factory to glass, plastic, and metal manufacturers to make some extra money on the project. I still doubt it will be reached by 2018 but if everything goes according to plan I wouldnt doubt seeing it before 2030



posted on Apr, 27 2005 @ 09:35 PM
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I am very skeptical of this idea, regardless of how much it it touted. For one thing, even if the structure gets built, wouldn't such a thing be very vulnerable to damage, not only by space dibris, but also by all sorts of earthly dangers, both natural and malicious.

[edit on 05/4/27 by GradyPhilpott]



posted on Apr, 27 2005 @ 09:57 PM
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Wow, they are actually gonna try and build this thing, huh?

Maybe I'll take a ride by the plant and see what I can find, should take about 3 mins to get there.



posted on Apr, 28 2005 @ 12:03 AM
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.
I will hope they have calculated the weight up and down the cable and found nanotubes sufficient to support themselves as well as the cart without breaking.

100s of miles of nanotubes must weigh quite a bit.
Have they factored in wind stresses? [especially under storm conditions]
I am pretty sure they will have to from time to time add some angular momentum to their counter weight. As stuff travels up to the counter weight it will add mass without adding inertia and that will have to be made up.

If they have genuinely found it feasible it is amazing.
If they get it done in my lifetime I will be living in Sci Fi.

Wouldn't that be amazing to actually travel to Earth orbit or the Moon?

I hope it isn't too expensive for me.

Can you picture it?

Imagine the ground dropping away from you at an ever accelerating rate. Every thing getting smaller and smaller like in an airplane, then smaller still, finally starting to see the curve of the horizon. The sky changing from powder to dark blue and finally going black with stars shinning clearer than you have ever seen them.

I would be so scared i would need tranquilizers or to just be asleep.

It would be a heartstopping ride. Absolutely unforgetable.
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posted on Apr, 28 2005 @ 07:18 AM
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This reall does sound like a neat thing to do. I also rember it has been discussed for a very long time. Not that im trying to a sceptic, but I am just not to sure it it will really work.
I know the nanno tubes are one the greatest invenchens in the last few decades and can understand that is the material that has to be used but just see an awfull lot of other problems that would need to be overcome.



posted on Apr, 28 2005 @ 10:42 AM
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Well there is only one way to find out if it actually works or not, and that is to build it
Im going to give them the benefit of the doubt and assume that since thye have the money and the brains they have thought of almost everything. It isnt as if they are just going to use it without testing. This stuff is going to be tested regioursly at all times as the project rolls along. Now regardless of the space elevator, the carbon stuff is really good when making other products.



Adding 2 percent carbon nanotubes to 98 percent pure polypropylene plastic makes the mixture 40 percent stronger, Laine said. That makes it ideal for laptop computer cases, car bodies and airplane parts.


With products like that these companies should be jumping in popularity and value in the coming years. I think we are looking at some starter companies to invest in here fellows. I



posted on Apr, 28 2005 @ 10:48 AM
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Originally posted by GradyPhilpott
I am very skeptical of this idea, regardless of how much it it touted. For one thing, even if the structure gets built, wouldn't such a thing be very vulnerable to damage, not only by space dibris, but also by all sorts of earthly dangers, both natural and malicious.

[edit on 05/4/27 by GradyPhilpott]


Carbon Nanotubs, read up on em you'll be amazed by the properties of this substance. THIS will get build if only to support our ego and greed. Terrorist Attacks will not be much of a problem as anything larger then an ultralight WILL get shot down if it flies into restricted airspace around the elevator, as for Meteorites etc that is a problem that needs to be solved.

Point is if we are ever going to get off this rock we need something like this. I do not see a version supporting Human cargo being built for a long time though, it will be used mostly for payloads that was to heavy to send up before.

en.wikipedia.org...

I'm going out on a limb here to say that the First Tether will be up and operational by 2020 at the latest. We could do it on the moon now as we do have the materials needed(Kevlar, Nylon etc) but it would have to be a long tether around twice as long as one needed on earth. Weird huh.



posted on Apr, 28 2005 @ 12:28 PM
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It is great to see this happen but a flaw I see is that most space elevator concepts I have read the cable is made in space and 'lowered to earth, because it is going to take a revolution in space lift capablity to get 62,000 miles of 8 inch thick cable into above geo-stationary orbit.

I will not begin to try and calculate how heavy such a cable would be.



posted on Apr, 28 2005 @ 12:39 PM
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Easy way around it, just send up spools of Nanotube strands one by one and weave it from the Top Down. Do not send the entire thing up all at once, lets be realistic here okay


Well another way would be to build a mass driver to send payloads up. *shrug* Lots of ideas out there

[edit on 28-4-2005 by sardion2000]



posted on Apr, 28 2005 @ 02:00 PM
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i read that the first tether will be really thin, and then they will keep gradually weaving in other cables to make the structure stronger.



posted on Apr, 28 2005 @ 02:48 PM
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Originally posted by rufi0o
i read that the first tether will be really thin, and then they will keep gradually weaving in other cables to make the structure stronger.


Yup! It's the only way it can be done so far. Once it gets big enough to haul payloads on its own then we start to send up larger "spools" of CNT's up to orbit to begin building a larger elevator etc etc. After the first one is up it becomes a self feeding cycle in a number of space related industries.



posted on Apr, 28 2005 @ 03:39 PM
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Earth moon elevator is not possible.
Think of the orbit and rotation of the earth.
Earth moon would not work because of the rotation.
But I am sure some one might come up with some sort of idea to work around that.



posted on Apr, 28 2005 @ 03:59 PM
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It's also been stated that whoever is the one that builds the first space elevator will effectivly own space until the next one is built.



posted on Apr, 28 2005 @ 04:05 PM
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Originally posted by sardion2000
Easy way around it, just send up spools of Nanotube strands one by one and weave it from the Top Down. Do not send the entire thing up all at once, lets be realistic here okay


Well another way would be to build a mass driver to send payloads up. *shrug* Lots of ideas out there

[edit on 28-4-2005 by sardion2000]



I know but considering that Delta IV heavy lifter (uet to have a successful flight) can only manage 13 tons up to geo-stationary orbit (and cost $100s of millions? to launch) how manyy launches are going to be required 100,000s?? 1,000,000s???

[edit on 28-4-2005 by Popeye]



posted on Apr, 28 2005 @ 04:18 PM
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As I understand it, carbon nanotubes are really strong, higher tensile strength than steel. However, they suffer from micro-fractures due to normal conditions, and those micro-fractures degrade the integrity of the whole structure. Over time, the structure becomes unstable.

A company designing a hull, for the shuttle I think, came upon a solution in the form of a self healing solution, stored in miniature ampules that broke during the micro-fracturing, and released the healing epoxy into the crack at the same time it was formed. This technology seems promising, but the substance can only hold so much healing formula, otherwise it would, in itself, degrade the structural integrity.

I like the idea very much, I just didn't think we'd cleared all the technical hurdles to make it a reality.

I can't wait to be proven wrong though.



posted on Apr, 28 2005 @ 04:23 PM
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Well it all depends on the Tensile strength of the CNT's as well as the weight you gotta take both into consideration. Single Walled Nanotubes are around 50 times stronger then steel at around 1/6th the weight(Multi-walled ones can be up to 120 times stronger but sacrifice some of the elasticity). Not only are they stronger(you would need less material in the first place) they are lighter.

First things first, we are all assuming they are going to do it the traditional way of making the wire on the ground and sending it up first, but the more I think about it the best way to do it would be to send up Robots that are capable of weaving strands and building upon what a previous bot did etc. All we would need to do is filler up with fresh supplies when it runs out. It could take along time doing it this way but it would be far cheaper and more effiencient. And when it gets to the point where we can start sending supplies up on the tether we can have unmanned spacecraft at the other end waiting to take the supplies to another Space Tether under construction. Start Small and think only what is fesable and the more acedemics I talk too(I'm lucky enough to know a few Physists) the more I'm convinced the obstacles will be overcome. One Geo-Physist I talked too seem convinced we will have one up and running for Human Cargo by 2050 and no later. He even admitted he was being conservative at that figure. Only time will tell though.


As I understand it, carbon nanotubes are really strong, higher tensile strength than steel. However, they suffer from micro-fractures due to normal conditions, and those micro-fractures degrade the integrity of the whole structure. Over time, the structure becomes unstable.

The Micro-fractures are due to weak molecular bonds and the purity. We have not managed to make pure CNTs as of yet with STRONG molecular bonds. When we do figure out how to tap the full potential the Tearing problem will seem a thing of the pass. As for the self healing thingy you mentioned, they could have say feeder micro/nano tubes running all along, if they are magnetic then we can just shuttle then up with magnetic fields, or does that seem unfeasable...

[edit on 28-4-2005 by sardion2000]



posted on Apr, 28 2005 @ 04:51 PM
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If they succede in making this elevator, they will become the richest company on the planet. It, if successful, will pay for itself billions of times over. If this is for real I want to buy stock right now..

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