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Obayashi plans to construct 'space elevator' in 2050

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posted on Feb, 22 2012 @ 09:20 AM
[EX]TOKYO (Kyodo) -- A space trip using an elevator may come true in 2050, as Japanese general contractor Obayashi Corp. is planning to construct a "space elevator" stretching 96,000 kilometers above the ground.[/EX]


Under the plan, the company will build an orbital station at an altitude of 36,000 km, a final destination for space travelers and housing experimental and development facilities utilizing the space environment.

A six-car elevator, expected to travel at a speed of 200 km per hour, will be capable of loading 30 people and will take about 7.5 days to arrive at the orbital station.

How cool is this? Well, if it works that is.
Could you imagine taking a week to reach the top of this thing? Scary?

I know this subject has been brought up before, it appears the technology is there, I just can't imagine this being pulled off. How will it change space travel / visitation?

So many questions.

posted on Feb, 22 2012 @ 09:26 AM
reply to post by elevatedone

Here's the first catch:

The company at present cannot calculate how much money would be needed to construct the space elevator and there would be some hurdles such as where to build it, said Satomi Katsuyama, leader of the company's space elevator project.

Much as I would like to see it happen, I won't hold my breath. Good find, though.

posted on Feb, 22 2012 @ 09:33 AM
reply to post by elevatedone

I'd love to see this happen just from a point where getting payloads out of the gravity well would get increasingly cheaper.

Problems with getting this going, or ever being realized, however, abound.
As mentioned above, there's the money issue.
As also mentioned, there's the question of WHERE to put it.

Any location chosen would necessarily need quite a bit of elbow room around it as a safety buffer should the whole magic rope trick come tumbling down.
Granted, based on Earth spin, the path of collapse shouldn't be too difficult in projections for disaster planning, but, whaver the outcome, it's going to be a prickly point in location unless some place like Easter Island is picked.

posted on Feb, 22 2012 @ 09:47 AM
2050 ?
i love optimism

next stop Universe, yippieee!

edit on 22-2-2012 by Anunaki2012 because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 22 2012 @ 09:48 AM

I hope they succeed.

posted on Feb, 22 2012 @ 09:57 AM
reply to post by nineix

Or they could locate it at one of the poles

posted on Feb, 22 2012 @ 09:58 AM
First let me state the obvious....brilliant idea!

Although that timetable would put me smack in my 70's once complete, still something to look forward to!
Space elevators, space tourism....I love it.

7.5 days to reach the summit, perfect for a two week vaca if you ask me.

Now let me also add, if the US was doing this, who would be the first to identify it as a possible terror target?
MAny might say that Japan isnt targeted like the US and western Euro nations are, but in 2050, who knows what the world might look like.

The security of this elevator also needs to be thought about.

posted on Feb, 22 2012 @ 10:15 AM
The first question for anyone who has been stuck in an elevator is of course...

"What happens when the elevator is stuck?"

posted on Feb, 22 2012 @ 10:16 AM
What a creative way to escape the radiation spewing from multiple out of control reactors at Fukushima.


posted on Feb, 22 2012 @ 10:19 AM
I seem to remember Issaic Asimov (sp?) writing about that a looooooooooong time ago.


I'll be pushing 90 by then. Mean, old, opinionated,. . . . . .
(dang, I'm already there!)

S&F for providing a nice detour through the road of doom.

posted on Feb, 22 2012 @ 10:22 AM
Ladder to heaven

South Park did it!
South Park did it!

posted on Feb, 22 2012 @ 10:23 AM
reply to post by boncho

Excellent question. I wonder what they'll do.

posted on Feb, 22 2012 @ 10:33 AM
reply to post by nineix

Actually, the risk is relatively low.

Consider that the section of the elevator most at risk is the section that is still well within the Earth's atmosphere: say the "first" 100,000 FT or so.

This is the section subject to the the greatest threat for natural and man-made dangers.

If this section should come a-tumblin' down, we're only looking at a "crash-zone" of 20-30 miles (40-60 miles in diameter). Well within the area of a decent sized island.

What happens to the the remaining "bulk" of the elevator?

Well, think about what happens to the bucket at the end of a rope spun "cowboy larriat-style" over your head when the rope breaks: the bucket, along with the rest of the rope, goes hurtling off on a tangent tractectory...Into "space" as it were.

Same thing would happen to the remains of a space elevator, should the "cord" get cut: everything above (relative to the Earth) the break would go hurtling, harmlessly (again, relative to Earth) into Space.

posted on Feb, 22 2012 @ 10:42 AM

Originally posted by elevatedone
reply to post by boncho

Excellent question. I wonder what they'll do.

7.5 days to the top. So if it were stuck in the middle, you are looking at a few days to be stuck in the elevator. Of course the article doesn't mention much on the concept. Perhaps the elevator is large enough to sustain people for the delay.

Or perhaps the company is looking for some PR.

posted on Feb, 22 2012 @ 10:44 AM
Do not forget what happened
to Charles Lindbergh's blimp the first
time it went for a spin.

Other then that, WAY to reach
for the stars japan, you go

I thought they would have a moon elevator
by 2050, this does not seem that cool compared
to a moon elevator..

posted on Feb, 22 2012 @ 10:59 AM

Originally posted by Maponos
reply to post by nineix

Or they could locate it at one of the poles

Wouldn't work as I understand it.
Whole thing is based on centrifugal forces of earth-spin with a counterweight at one end.
If there's no 'pull' on the counterweight caused by centrifugal effect, then we got nuttin.

Me thinks you'd have a more optimally efficient project closer to equatorial regions.

posted on Feb, 22 2012 @ 11:25 AM
reply to post by boncho

Or perhaps the company is looking for some PR

I think you hit the nail on the head...

Obayashi is just days away from completing work on Japan's tallest structure, the Tokyo Sky Tree, which will stand 2,080 feet tall.

The tower will serve as a digital broadcasting antenna as well as a sightseeing attraction that allows uninterrupted views of the Japanese capital and beyond.

"We were inspired by construction of Sky Tree," which will open for business in May, she said. "Our experts on construction, climate, wind patterns, design, they say it's possible."


Go Obayashi!

posted on Feb, 22 2012 @ 11:27 AM
OK so they have the material technology to avoid orbiting debris strikes, at 17,500 mph. So around the 'beanstalk' some kind of force field is somehow in place to divert potential orbiting impacts, seems to me a bigger hurdle than the material tech. I see a giant sledgehammer in space ready to strike all communication satellites.

The base of this thing on the ground is moving a relative speed of about 1,036 mph, (to go 24859.82 miles in 24 hours), what do you suppose the speed of the counterweight at the end of the 96,000 km would be? Only about 3,904 mph, which is not orbital velocity at that distance so the whole thing would come down no matter where it gets severed. Even a geosynchronous satellite at around 35,800 miles is going 6,870 mph. EVAs worry about paint chip debris impacts in LEO, wonder what kind of insurance policies would be available, or affordable?

posted on Feb, 22 2012 @ 12:03 PM
reply to post by Illustronic

The speed of the counterweight at 100000km from earth center would be 2*pi/(24*60*60) * 100000 = 7.27km/s. Should be fast enough I think.

posted on Feb, 22 2012 @ 01:18 PM
reply to post by moebius

True, true... also, we are not considering the mass of the counterweight.... I suspect that 'counterweight' is just a functional name... it could very likely be a space station. manufacturing plant, or a whole host of things... like a hotel..... imagine the "honeymoon suite"...

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