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Space Elevator Faces Reality.

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posted on Aug, 18 2009 @ 12:19 PM

Like almost everyone else in the space vision business, the enthusiasts who foresee a "railway to space" are adjusting their high-flying dreams to fit down-to-earth realities. "We don't have all the questions, let alone all the answers," Michael Laine, head of the LiftPort Group, told an audience of about 50 people on Saturday during the 2009 Space Elevator Conference on Microsoft's campus in Redmond, Wash.

Still a laughable idea? The space elevator concept is one of the highest-flying ideas out there: Imagine a super-strong tether swinging out, say, 100,000 miles from Earth's surface, with laser-powered robots shuttling up and down from a ground- or sea-based station to an orbital platform. If such a thing could be built, the idea's proponents say the system could cut the cost of putting cargo into space from $10,000 to $100 per pound. The idea is at least a century old - and was most famously popularized by science-fiction guru Arthur C. Clarke, who once said the space elevator would succeed "50 years after everyone has stopped laughing."

Wow, this article has it all, carbon nano tubes, crawler robots, beaming power, and of course, space elevators.

So who has seen those pictures from the moon that with contrast changes show lines coming out of earth?

I've been looking and looking, hopefully someone posted them here.

If the government is really 25-50 year ahead of us, they may already have these things!

If not, the entire concept of a space elevator doesn't seem like such an out there idea anymore.

posted on Aug, 18 2009 @ 12:20 PM
I should probably add a source too lol.

posted on Aug, 18 2009 @ 12:25 PM
I like the title, "Space Elevator Faces Reality" but am having a hard time discerning what it means? The reality that the idea is stupid? The reality that it would be too costly? The reality that it will never happen?

I mean really, think about it... the idea, on it's face, is cool. But the practicality of such a thing is... well, ridiculous! I'm in no mood to have another "Space elevator" discussion because it is pointless. There are those who simply refuse to look at the technological advances required to make such an idea reality. I'll be looking forward to flying cars loooooooong before I'll be looking for a space elevator!

posted on Aug, 18 2009 @ 12:48 PM
As always, interesting! The Space Elevator is one of the Wonders of the World in my fav game, Civilization IV. Cuts the time needed, in half, to build a spaceship (in space).

posted on Aug, 18 2009 @ 11:31 PM
All we need is to send another rocket but this time with a big fishing reel letting out "line".

Do that twice, hook it up to something up there, ISS or whatever, and make machines to climb it.

Doesn't seem that far out does it?

Seems easier than going to to moon or Mars.

posted on Aug, 19 2009 @ 12:01 AM
reply to post by breakingdradles

It's a bit more difficult than that. The orbital terminus of the elevator has to be in a geostationary orbit, directly over the equator at an altitude of 22,236 miles. The ISS orbits at about 250 miles.

You can't just send a rocket with a line attached to it because the rocket cannot fly in a straight line to the terminus point. So you actually have to send the cable to the terminus then lower it to the anchor point. Easy. Except that 22,236 miles of cable is going to weigh quite a bit (not to mention being quite bulky) and getting it up there is going to be a problem. The cable has to support it's own weight too, so that's going to be a problem. We don't have any material capable of doing the job.

Not so easy.

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