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FAA give Liftport clearance for Space Tether

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posted on Sep, 19 2005 @ 11:48 AM
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www.space.com...

Scroll down and you'll see this...



The LiftPort Group, the space elevator companies, announced September 9 that it has received a waiver from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to use airspace to conduct preliminary tests of its high altitude robotic “lifters.”

The lifters are early prototypes of the technology that the company is developing for use in its commercial space elevator to ferry cargo back and forth into space.

The tests, which are planned for early fall, will simulate a working space elevator by launching a model elevator “ribbon” attached to moored balloon initially up to a mile high. The robotic lifters will then be tested in their ability to climb up and down the free-hanging ribbon, marking the first-ever test of this technology in the development of the space elevator concept.

According to Michael Laine, president of the LiftPort Group in Bremerton, Washington, the FAA go-ahead is a “critical step” in the ultimate developing of the group’s LiftPort Space Elevator concept.


Liftport is looking more and more real all the time now




posted on Sep, 19 2005 @ 11:51 AM
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Cool, great find. If they can pull off the space elevator technology, it'll be the most important space development since the moon landing.

[edit on 9/19/2005 by djohnsto77]



posted on Sep, 19 2005 @ 12:07 PM
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Here is another link

www.technovelgy.com...

I personally think the FAA shouldn't be involved in these descisions. A new agency dedicated to certifying private space vehicles as well as a Space Traffic control agency needs to be created soon IMO.

[edit on 19-9-2005 by sardion2000]



posted on Sep, 19 2005 @ 12:08 PM
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Kim Robinsons' science fiction Mars' Trilogy, Red Mars, Blue Mars and Green Mars was the first time that I had read about the concept of a space elevator. Of course, it sounded like science fiction. However, it is a concept that was certainly worth considering....obviously. If this technology could be proven to be worthwhile and economically feasible, then, truly, a new era of Man's Journey into Space will be initiated.

The cost and safety issues surrounding sending men and women into space atop what is, for all intents and purposes, a missile will be a thing of the past. Ordinary people will be able to journey into space. Scientific research can be performed on a regular basis and mankind will be able to make a giant step into exploring space. I hope that the testing of the earth tether will be successful.



posted on Sep, 19 2005 @ 12:10 PM
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Originally posted by sardion2000
Liftport is looking more and more real all the time now


If this thing works it will change all of the rules of the game. If I was NASA I wouldn't be in a real hurry to comit to anything until we see how this plays out. If you can get components to low Earth orbit quickly and economically then great things are posible. Think of it this way all of the money you were going to spend on boosters just became available for other uses. I know that Liftport might be several years down the road but now would be the time to start thinking how to take advantage of it.



posted on Sep, 19 2005 @ 12:11 PM
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I havn't read the Red Mars trilogy yet, still on my reading list but from what I've learnt is that the Space Elevator in that series would be very dangerous to operate and build. If it ever failed it would have global implications. That's why Space Tethers are being researched as they are inherintly much safer at the cost of less hauling capacity.



posted on Sep, 19 2005 @ 02:15 PM
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Perhaps an ignorant question, but wouldn't the earth to space connection be so heavy that it couldn't support itself?



posted on Sep, 19 2005 @ 02:21 PM
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Originally posted by Desert Dawg
Perhaps an ignorant question, but wouldn't the earth to space connection be so heavy that it couldn't support itself?


Actually most designs I have seend rely on "suspension" of the thread, and the biggest hold-up of a space elevator is that materials used to make it. Current for runner is nono-tubes as long as they can be made in sufficiant length.



posted on Sep, 19 2005 @ 02:22 PM
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Originally posted by Desert Dawg
Perhaps an ignorant question, but wouldn't the earth to space connection be so heavy that it couldn't support itself?


No. The tether will be made out of an ultralight carbon nanotube tether and the effects of a counter weight and centripital force will keep it under tension. Of course at first it will not be able to carry people just more spools of tether to reinforce the structure and small cargo runs.



posted on Sep, 19 2005 @ 02:23 PM
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Originally posted by Jehosephat
Current for runner is nono-tubes as long as they can be made in sufficiant length.


www.abovetopsecret.com...

Link for reference to recent breakthrough in Nanotube "spinning"

[edit on 19-9-2005 by sardion2000]



posted on Sep, 19 2005 @ 02:35 PM
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I allready knew that I am subscribed to the news letter from
elevator2020.com I get all info on new development about tethers and space elevators which they are working for and on.



posted on Sep, 19 2005 @ 03:33 PM
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Jah.

LP has me wondering sometimes though. They're out to make CNT to improve the tech AND make money so they can make CNT to help make an elevator. It's an odd way of going about it, but a very good one. They're very smart there, and, for once, have a very detailed long-term plan.

Anyway, exactly what I was thinking, Sar. The FAA is the best we've got ATM. In a few years, a decade, it depends how this turns out, but assuming things go well, a new group will be created. HOPEFULLY, NASA will have a large part in it, but they'll have the brains to make it international, because, let's face it, if we don't open this to the entire Earth, things are gonna get tense.



posted on Sep, 19 2005 @ 05:27 PM
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I personally think the FAA shouldn't be involved in these descisions. A new agency dedicated to certifying private space vehicles as well as a Space Traffic control agency needs to be created soon IMO.

[edit on 19-9-2005 by sardion2000]



the faa would have to be at least a part of it....you're talking about a huge chunk of airspace that would have to be sanitized in order to keep some arrant aircraft from running into it. that means it would become a prohibited area, and would need to be depicted on both charts and controllers radar maps.



posted on Sep, 19 2005 @ 07:18 PM
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Eh, not so much. Just make a large area that you can't fly in. Military will protect it, and another organization actually proper to that sort of work (international, I say again) will take care of the actual thing.



posted on Sep, 19 2005 @ 08:31 PM
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Originally posted by sardion2000
Here is another link

www.technovelgy.com...

I personally think the FAA shouldn't be involved in these descisions. A new agency dedicated to certifying private space vehicles as well as a Space Traffic control agency needs to be created soon IMO.

[edit on 19-9-2005 by sardion2000]


Actually it will most likely fall to the AST (FAA Associate Administrator for Commercial Space Transpotation) to oversee the operation of the Space Elevator; at least if there is any US involment with its construction and/or operation.

Since Liftport is, I believe, an American organization, and since the planned Fall test deployment will take place on US soil, at an altitude below 100K feet, the FAA itself has statutory jurisdiction.

Couple of Interesting Legal Points:

The FAA has nominal jurisdiction over any aircraft over US soil not classified as a spacecraft. The AST is charged with statutory jurisdiction over all Private/Commercial spacecraft luanched and/or operated by US citizens/organizations

Question 1.) Since the prime location for an SE is as close to the equator as possible, and since no US territory, as yet, is located anywhere near the equator, neither the FAA nor the AST would have any jurisdiction, unless Americans were involved, correct? In which case, I refer you the next question.

Question 2.) Can a device such as the Space Elevator actually be considered a "Spacecraft"? As I understand it, the SE is more of a "tower" ie., a "building" which happens to reach an altitude analogous to space, not an actual vehicle "in" space. Therefore, niether the FAA nor its ill-born spawn (Yes, I have "issues" where the AST is concerned!), the AST, would have any jurisdiction!



posted on Sep, 19 2005 @ 10:10 PM
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Originally posted by djohnsto77
Cool, great find. If they can pull off the space elevator technology, it'll be the most important space development since the moon landing.



I couldn't agree more.



posted on Sep, 20 2005 @ 12:33 AM
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Originally posted by Amorymeltzer
Eh, not so much. Just make a large area that you can't fly in. Military will protect it, and another organization actually proper to that sort of work (international, I say again) will take care of the actual thing.


large area that you cant fly in is the definition of a prohibited area. and yes, the military governs prohibited areas. however, if said area is going to be in us airspace, then youre talking about a complete airspace redesign. you see, the airspace above the us is like a huge highway system. lots of jet routes and victor routes from 3000 feet to 60,000 ft. you have to insure that none of them go through the proposed airspace, and change the routes if they do. then you have to publicize the changes on aeronautical charts, and insure they are depicted on controller's radar display maps, and possibly adapt radar sectors to account for the new prohibited area (change their boundaries).



posted on Sep, 20 2005 @ 01:29 PM
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Most of the plans for the space tether has called for it to be in international waters well away from any air traffic. Equatorial would be ideal IMO.



posted on Sep, 20 2005 @ 01:42 PM
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^
What he said.

LiftPort is a US company, it's investors are likely to be primarily US-based, but if this thing has any chance of taking off (no pun intended) then it's going to be a global effort, simply because of the economical, political, and social ramifications, not to mention consequences of all other sorts. Safety, weather, policy, regulation, standardization, authorization, time slots, planning, use, maintenance. So much more. It would be PERFECT for it to be at the equator or very close to it. Somewhere where it is empty and easy to maintain, yet easy to keep safe and access.

This ain't happening in New York.



posted on Sep, 20 2005 @ 02:01 PM
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From their website...

www.liftport.com...


The elevator will be anchored to an offshore sea platform near the equator in the Pacific Ocean, and to a small counterweight in space. Mechanical lifters (robotic elevator cars) will move up and down the ribbon, carrying such items as satellites, solar power systems, and eventually people into space. LiftPort's plan is to take the concept from the research laboratory to commercial development.


[edit on 20-9-2005 by sardion2000]




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