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  #11  
Old Aug 27th 2015, 07:41 PM
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Default Re: Space Elevator

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Originally Posted by Michael View Post
From what I understand of the design, it is a cable with a form of housing around it (inside of which the cable-crawler-elevator would function). In this respect, it is essentially a 'space elevator'.
While it sounds like a neat project, I think Dominick is right in saying that it definitely isn't a "space elevator," at least not according to the definition that term has traditionally held.

This project would be 12 miles high and "supported by a series of gas-pressurized cells." I'm not sure what that means, but either its a series of balloons or an inflatable tower. From the top you could launch yourself into orbit more easily.

The cable of a true space elevator would stretch at least 22 thousand miles high (and optimally higher) and be held in place by the competing forces of gravity and centrifugal force. The idea isn't to go up high enough to launch yourself into orbit. The idea is that, when you get to the top (or even before) you are already there.

This image from wikipedia gives a sense of the scale involved:


Notably, the tower mentioned in the OP would not be too small to show up in this image.
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Last edited by dilettante; Aug 27th 2015 at 07:45 PM.
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  #12  
Old Sep 6th 2015, 11:27 AM
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Default Re: Space Elevator

I consider the distance to be merely a difference of degree. The first railroads, steam-ships, airplanes and cars were all quite limited, inefficient and puny little things that were slow and short ranged.

The key purpose/form/function of the space elevator idea is to use an elevator/crawler going up a cable to reach up to space. The design-proposal of the OP does fit that general description even if it doesn't reach all the way up.

The key 'engineering' fact about space flight is that lifting anything up from earth surface up to orbital levels requires ginormous amounts of rocket fuel - primarily consumed for the initial segment of the flight. Using a smaller-scale space elevator thingie still makes sense because the distance that it does apply to is the hardest part of the process. Having an elevator and platform access twelve miles up would thus be a great benefit and boon for any kind of orbital development and even near-space explorations. Launching stuff from twelve miles up would require one hell of a lot less energy then launching stuff from ground level.

Basically, I see the first stage of any near future space development to take the form of large orbital stations - actually constructing them up there from pre-fabricated pieces made down here. Even a low level twelve mile space elevator would be a major step in that process.
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Old Sep 7th 2015, 11:37 AM
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Default Re: Space Elevator

The difference isn't in height though. The Space Elevator is a satellite in geosynchronous orbit.
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  #14  
Old Feb 9th 2017, 04:18 AM
Abishai100 Abishai100 is offline
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Default Inspector Gadget!

This is definitely interesting, and it really does make you think about strange and intriguing civilization technologies and gadgets (and toys!) human beings are capable of inventing.

However, as with any 'toy' there are rules and guidelines for proper 'play.'

Let's talk about 'toys' already invented that require a more thorough evaluation (in terms of ethics, guidelines, function, etc.) before leaping headfirst into new and wondrous creations such as this very eccentric but fantastic 'space elevator.'

1. Garbage Disposal --- an everyday kitchen item in your sink that can be very very dangerous if you stick your hand in it while it is turned on (i.e., parents need to tell kids, "Always make sure it's not turned on if you stick your hand in it or that no one else in the kitchen is about to turn it on!").

2. Hotel/Building Elevator --- a simple convenience which can become a nightmare if something goes wrong and it stalls (or worse, starts to fall down if the cables snap).

3. Anti-Lock Brakes (Automobile) --- very useful but very frustrating and even scary if they malfunction.

4. Electron-Microscope (Science Labs) --- a very under-valued invention of the modern age


Definitely an interesting read. I'm also intrigued by the ISS (International Space Station), which rarely gets much media attention these days (though there's that Tom Cruise narrated documentary).


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Old May 12th 2017, 09:55 AM
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Default Re: Space Elevator

It's a really interesting concept, but how many people would actually have the nerve to try it out?
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Old May 12th 2017, 06:06 PM
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Default Re: Space Elevator

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It's a really interesting concept, but how many people would actually have the nerve to try it out?
From what I understand, the travel up would be inside something like a cable-car and it would move fairly slowly - could take 24-48 hours to make the climb.

I'd certainly do it if they built one. I wouldn't volunteer to be the first, but I don't see this thing as anything more inherently dangerous than anything else we do on a daily basis (like driving a car).
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