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Kedas

Space Elevator: High Hopes, Lofty Goals

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http://www.space.com/businesstechnology/technology/space_elevator_030917.html

 

Nasa is really thinking of building one.

 

When will it be build ?:

"It?ll be built 10 years after everybody stops laughing ? and I think they have stopped laughing," he said.

 

 

I was just thinking won't they have a lightning problem ???

What about the static differences in the air, where is the current going to go?

 

found the answer:

"what about lightning? The tether would need a pretty thick ground wire to avoid being vaporized during a lightning strike. I guess a ground wire might only need to go up to abot 40,000 feet or so. I assume there wouldn't be a problem with lightning once above cloud level. Maybe have helium balloons at lower altitudes where lightning is a possibility and hydrogen balloons at higher altitudes."

 

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Does anyone know how well these carbon nanotubes conduct electricity?

I ask because many fishermen die each year using carbon fiber rods and hit powerlines.

Would lightening have an effect on this space tether?

or the 11 year solar sunspot activity, the one that took out Quebec in 1989 as the power transmition lines overloaded becuase of sunspots, and they were in our protective geo magnetic feild.

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Looks funny! Its a possible idea though, not only will it help us get things to the moon, but things very dangerous things that we could never send up in a rocket to space.

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Looks funny! Its a possible idea though, not only will it help us get things to the moon, but things very dangerous things that we could never send up in a rocket to space.

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I'm seeing major problems with building it though, lightning strikes, terrorist attacks, earthquakes, tornado, the energy consumption. And if that thing topples over, we're in a bit of a predicament.

 

Sorry for the double post.

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I'm seeing major problems with building it though, lightning strikes, terrorist attacks, earthquakes, tornado, the energy consumption. And if that thing topples over, we're in a bit of a predicament.

 

Sorry for the double post.

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You are correct about the scale and scope of the challenges facing construction of a space elevator. However, all these concerns have been recognised and are being addressed. This site is an excellent source of deeper technical information on the topic.

http://www.spaceelevator.com/

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You are correct about the scale and scope of the challenges facing construction of a space elevator. However, all these concerns have been recognised and are being addressed. This site is an excellent source of deeper technical information on the topic.

http://www.spaceelevator.com/

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Space Garbage will also prove to be a problem. The current problem that NASA is facing is the fact that so far they have only manged to make a one foot long nanotube.

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The current problem that NASA is facing is the fact that so far they have only manged to make a one foot long nanotube.
Every journey begins with a single step.

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So true but so far it look's hopeless. ( Nice short messages eh gotta keep that 10 posts a day) lol

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On what do you base the notion that so far it looks hopeless? Have you read any of the documents in the link I posted earlier.

 

This is an attainable technology. It is certainly a lot closer to realisation than say fusion was thirty years ago. Why do I choose that as an example? Thirty years ago substantial sums were being invested in fusion and nobody doubted that eventually the problem would be solved. The same can be said today and it remains equally true. Were the problems of achieving a solution recognised thirty years ago? Of course they were. Were the solutions to those problems obvious? Of course not.

And today, with the space elevator the same situation applies. There are problems, but they have been identified, probably with greater clarity than was the case for fusion. Routes to addressing the problems have been identified. All that is required is time and resources, and probably not a whole lot of either (compared lets say with fusion.)

So, I repeat my question, why do you say so far it appears hopeless?

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Here's my question on a space elevator: How do you actually *build* it?

 

You'd start with the satelite, but then you have to attach the nanotubule cord. Obviously it can't all be done at once. Do you lower it down? How do you do that without the friction of air on the cable slowing the spacecraft and dragging it down?

 

For that matter, I doubt you can just bundle up that much cable to ship it up there. If you ship it in sections, that would make it easier, but doesn't the problem of the joints in the sections defeat the purpose of nanotubules (since the joints would be the weakest part)?

 

I can easily envision the finished product. What I'm having trouble envisioning is the construction process needed to actually *create* that product, mostly the attachment/deployment of the cable.

 

Mokele

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I don't see how they plan to compensate for the movemets of the earth and these planets which they are attempting to reach.

 

Personally, I think we should be focusing on something a little more, shall we say, "down to earth," such as a tunnel from North America to Europe in the Atlantic Ocean.

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I did a project on the Space Elevator during the school science fair, and won me a silver medal :D

 

You'd start with the satelite, but then you have to attach the nanotubule cord. Obviously it can't all be done at once. Do you lower it down? How do you do that without the friction of air on the cable slowing the spacecraft and dragging it down?

 

The current plan calls for an inital cable to be strung out first, then climbers would move up the cable, adding more nanotubes to it.

 

I don't see how they plan to compensate for the movemets of the earth and these planets which they are attempting to reach.

 

I think they done studies on it or and doing studies right now. I thing that bothers me is that the space elevator would slow the Earth's rotation to preseve angular momentum, if only sightly.

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On what do you base the notion that so far it looks hopeless? [/i']?

 

I base the fact that so far it looks hopeless because in Scientific American they explained that it is so far impossible to create so many nanotubes on a production line or otherwise. I believe that although in the future (20-30 years)it may be possible but for now. No.

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I base the fact that so far it looks hopeless because in Scientific American they explained that it is so far impossible to create so many nanotubes on a production line or otherwise. I believe that although in the future (20-30 years)it may be possible but for now. No.
I guess we have different definitions of hopeless. When the concept began to gain some noteriety through Clarke's science fiction novel Fountains of Paradise, the detractors were saying it looked hopeless because there weren't any materials that were strong enough and light enough. Now we have such a material with the prospect of being able to manufacture it to the required extent within a decade or so. In my vocabulary that isn't hopeless, that is hopeful. The problem just requires some technology development. It is achievable.

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Achievable yes but we are talking many years of developement I though you meant that this was something that could be achieved in the near future.

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I think it is a definition difference again. To me a decade or two is the near future. As with most technical problems the solution time is dictated by the quantity and quality of resources thrown at it. The quality of current resources is probably very high, the quantity is certainly very low. If this was addressed there is a good chance we could start building the elevator within ten years. That puts it on the same timescale as the objectives of the lunar landings in the 1960s - it might call for a similar commitment, but we would gain affordable access to space. (Given definition problems earlier - affordable - I don't mean we can all dash up the beanstalk for $150 coach, I mean costs drop by one or two orders of magnitude.)

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I would call anything within the next century "the near future" for a project like this.

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