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Space elevator contest proposed

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posted on Aug, 28 2004 @ 06:58 PM
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Elevator:2010 aimed
at encouraging
technology development
One of the marquee events in a proposed space elevator competition would be a climber race, shown in this artist's conception. The mechanical climbers would be required to lift a payload up a 60-meter cable, with power provided by an intense light beam shining on photoelectric cells



By Alan Boyle
Science editor
MSNBC
Updated: 10:37 p.m. ET Aug. 27, 2004Enthusiasts on Friday unveiled an effort to establish an annual competition for space-elevator technologies, taking a page from the playbook for other high-tech contests such as the $10 million Ansari X Prize.


Many of the details surrounding the "Elevator:2010" challenge including financing still have to be fleshed out, however.

The project, spearheaded by the California-based Spaceward Foundation, would focus on innovations in fields that could open the way for payloads to be lifted into space by light-powered platforms. Such platforms, also known as climbers, would move up and down superstrong ribbons rising as high as 62,000 miles (100,000 kilometers) above Earth's surface.




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posted on Aug, 29 2004 @ 02:17 AM
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luv tha idea but I'm not sure this can be done on a budget. This typr of program needs massive dollars put into it.

The X-prize winner Space ship One costs around 23 million and it just goes sub-orbital! But with any luck maybe billionair Paul Allen will also back this.



posted on Aug, 29 2004 @ 02:24 AM
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I think it will be cheaper if they would just invest money on space transportation technology, In a couple of years we will have the Auroa to carry pay loads to space.



The base of the building will probally be gigantic to support all the weight. And how will it be kept from not falling?



posted on Aug, 29 2004 @ 04:49 AM
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Originally posted by SpockO_o
I think it will be cheaper if they would just invest money on space transportation technology, In a couple of years we will have the Auroa to carry pay loads to space.



The base of the building will probally be gigantic to support all the weight. And how will it be kept from not falling?


Two words - centrifugal force. The centrifugal force needs to be more pwerfull than the Earth gravity. That means the space elevator will not stand on the surface but it will "hang" form the space. Weird don't you think? The only one challenge is to create the material able to handle such a HUGE weight.

The elevator could be extremley effective just compare current cost 10 000$ per kg to 100$ per kg. It is also very ecologic - no exhaust emissions, no nuclear emissions.... And it could be solar powered (solar panels in the space).



[edit on 29-8-2004 by longbow]



posted on Aug, 29 2004 @ 06:13 AM
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The elevator could be extremley effective just compare current cost 10 000$ per kg to 100$ per kg. It is also very ecologic - no exhaust emissions, no nuclear emissions.... And it could be solar powered (solar panels in the space).


The laser powered one cost like 10$ per kg. And could lift fairly large payloads. AND BTW Scientists have already found the material that will be used in the Space Elevator as well as in other super projects around the world. That Material is Carbon Nanotubes(CNTs). CNTs are up to 100 times stronger than steel at 1/6th the wieght. They can conduct electriciy or insulate. Same goes with heat, it all depends on the molecular composition of the CNTs. Google up Carbon Nanotube, Elongated Fullerene, Buckytubes and Buckyballs(not a CNT its still very interesting and could probably be used as the backbone for a sensor network that will be places throughout the superstructure of the elevator and give real time data to grownd controllers)

In the begging it should only be used for Cargo not humans. They got to establish that its safe first because no one has ever built anything on that scale before.



posted on Aug, 29 2004 @ 06:18 PM
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sardion2000 - actually they havn't yet perfected it, They also don't yet know how to make the ribbon in a mass qauntity, its overall a few years off.



Longbow
That means the space elevator will not stand on the surface but it will "hang" form the space.

No, they will not hang in mid-air. They will be attached to the ground, and to counter the pull they would need a big huge weight in space (some reports i've read say they will use a asteroid) But I think it will be eisier to make a homade wieght and launch it up with several delta 4 heavy rockets.

it will look like this

Videos of the ribbon system at work. (need Quicktime)
Ribbon Climber

The way Longbow was refering to
Which is not nearly as practicable. and wont happen that way either.

My main concern with a space elevator is I think it would have to be built at area 51, so no terrorist can get to it, Or if they did build it on thew ocean that need to have strict air space so no one hits the ribbon (accidental or not), and have tight security to make sure a boat cant pull up to it and blow itself up with 100 tons of tnt on board.
My second concern would be space debris, we keep puting more and more debris in space from our rockets at a faster pace then it take to loose orbit and burn up in our atmosphere.

But overall, like I said I luv tha idea. and think it will work, and far better then any rocket.



posted on Aug, 29 2004 @ 08:16 PM
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I don't know much on the subject, but just by looking at the pic of what this thing will look like, I doubt it will ever be built. I mean come on - 62,000 miles of elevator?

It's the type of thing that would be nice to have, but realistically, won't happen.



posted on Aug, 29 2004 @ 09:03 PM
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It's the type of thing that would be nice to have, but realistically, won't happen.

'People said the same about the Train, the Automobile, the Golden Gate Bridge, The Apollo Missions, etc etc. The list goes on and on. If there is a need then it will be built. It's human nature. We need this to ensure our survival. There ain't gonna be any cheaper way in the near term IMO.



posted on Aug, 29 2004 @ 11:09 PM
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I don't really think we need a space elevator to ensure our survival.

Making this seems like a waste of time. Sure we wont need as much fuel to go out to space, but why not invest this in better propulsion systems.



posted on Aug, 29 2004 @ 11:22 PM
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Another name for this tech is a 'skyhook'. I really hope this technology takes off in the future, I'm not entirely sure of it's economic viability though.



posted on Aug, 29 2004 @ 11:34 PM
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Originally posted by VirusClock
I don't really think we need a space elevator to ensure our survival.

Making this seems like a waste of time. Sure we wont need as much fuel to go out to space, but why not invest this in better propulsion systems.


Well unless we make an anti-gravity breakthrough this is the cheapest way to get into orbit, and as for ensuring our survival I meant in the long term. Humanity need to establish a permenant presance beyond Low earth orbit. As long as we stay on our little island we are vulnerable to numorous threats. Here is the short list of threats on the horizon. 1. Human cause environmental disaster 2. Asteroid impact 3. Gamma Ray Burst and well you get the idea. I recently read an article written by a couple of Los Vegas oddsmakers and they put the odds of our survival at 50/50 that we'd make it to the 22nd century. 23rd century the odds fall even more and become 30/70 that is 30 % chance of survival. The only way to improve those odds is to get off earth. and eventually out of our solar system.



posted on Aug, 29 2004 @ 11:43 PM
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I agree with ya sardion2000 about we need to expand. But about those odds, no one can predict the future, those numbers are 100% guesses.



posted on Aug, 29 2004 @ 11:45 PM
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But about those odds, no one can predict the future, those numbers are 100% guesses.

You are completely right on that one, I just thought I needed to mention it. Plus they did assume that we were going to stay on earth, and technological progress was also not taken into account. But if we were to stay relatively on earth for the next 200 years without expanding at all then those odds are spot on IMO.



posted on Aug, 30 2004 @ 12:13 AM
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I never said that we should stay in earth forever. I said that this object isn't that great. Much much money is going to go into this enourmous elevator. I would rather that they wasted that money in better propulsion research. Energy can pretty much be obtained off anything, so why not invent better energy collecting devices.



posted on Aug, 30 2004 @ 12:30 AM
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Originally posted by VirusClock
I never said that we should stay in earth forever. I said that this object isn't that great. Much much money is going to go into this enourmous elevator. I would rather that they wasted that money in better propulsion research. Energy can pretty much be obtained off anything, so why not invent better energy collecting devices.


I might be costly to build it but think of it. Since its an elevator you don't need to haul fuel. All the power comes from grownd stations completely smashing weight restrictions. You could literally haul thousands of tons a day using a fully functional elevator. We would not have to worry so much about getting into orbit anymore and we can concentrate on pure intra-solar and inter-stellar technolgy like Ion Propulsion, Lifter Propulsion, Fusion Scramjet(or Ramjet?? I forget) Solar Sails, Laser Propulsion and maybe even Anti-Matter cuz I don't think we want to test Anti-Matter reactors/drives anywhere near earth.

It would pay for itself in less then a decade of regular service. I am confident it would be well worth it. And btw just becuase people are pursuing this technology doesn't mean that work in other areas stops or funding gets streched. Thats the beuty of prize setups no taxpayers money is gonna get wasted. Look at the X-Prize. This prize was inspired by the success in the X-PRize, and any and all endevors like this is not wastefull since its the private sectors money to waste anyway



posted on Aug, 30 2004 @ 12:03 PM
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Well to ansew VirusClock question of why not using this money to be put into propulsion research, the space elevator if built and working properly will not be used just as an elevator. The momentum created with such a large ribbon (like swinging round a ball with a piece of string attached around) will be able to "sling shot" space craft at enormous speeds across our solar system. Once space elevators are easier to build then these could be set up on mars the moon and maybe even Jupiters moons. This technology offers huge potential for not just transportation to Earth orbit, but a true stepping stone for establishing space transportation infrastructure in our solar system.

sardion2000, The technology does exist yes, but the ability to create extremely long reels of "CNT's" to be looped down from low earth orbit does not. Although the manufactures behind CNT's are improving the lengths and properties of the material all the time, I dont see this as a long-term problem at all.

It has been stated that who ever owns the first elevator will effectively own space until the next is built.



posted on Aug, 30 2004 @ 12:08 PM
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Expense will be a major problem. Also can something like this even be built? What about safety? And what if an elevator gets stuck? Teleporting might be more realistic than an elevator. Unless of course the teleport system gets hacked and you end up on the other side with a tatoo that says "j00 wz pwn3d!" lol



posted on Aug, 30 2004 @ 01:05 PM
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Originally posted by sardion2000
It would pay for itself in less then a decade of regular service.


That changes my opinion. If it could be a money MAKER in the future, then it will probably happen.

My question then becomes, how do you build such a thing. I mean, building sky scrapers is one thing, but building a 62,000 mile elevator into space is a whole different beast.



posted on Aug, 30 2004 @ 01:35 PM
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well basically the proposed vision is for a space craft to carry an enormous reel of carbon nanotubes into low earth orbit and then unreal the tether down to an off shore oil rig (which has been placed in an area with hardly any natural disturbances) and connect it to a counter balance. The first lifters would then carry up addition reels of nanotubes to strengthen the tether until it can support additional payloads.

Heres an actual organisation which is working on the project
:
www.liftport.com...



posted on Aug, 31 2004 @ 11:47 PM
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Originally posted by Indy
Expense will be a major problem. Also can something like this even be built? What about safety? And what if an elevator gets stuck? Teleporting might be more realistic than an elevator. Unless of course the teleport system gets hacked and you end up on the other side with a tatoo that says "j00 wz pwn3d!" lol



How would it get stuck?

Teleporting - Get real

As for safty, its far safer then strapping your ass on a rocket.



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