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The Spirit of Giving XIV

Climbing to the moon

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Kava
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Climbing to the moon
PostPosted: Thu 10 Jul, 2008  Reply with quote

Has anyone heard this... Nasa is working on a elivator that will take you to space. It will be a rope anchored to the earth going streight up to outterspace, and an elevator will shoot you up. This blew my mind. How will they get it up there?

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Traveler
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Re: Climbing to the moon
PostPosted: Thu 10 Jul, 2008  Reply with quote

There was a multi-million dollar reward for anyone who could figure it out. No one did. Right now they do not know "How will they get it up there?" Though they are starting to give up.

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Kava
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PostPosted: Thu 10 Jul, 2008  Reply with quote

It sounds like a cool idea, but its so simple sounding for space travel.

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Synneth Relmn
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PostPosted: Thu 10 Jul, 2008  Reply with quote

It isn't simple at all. No known material is strong enough to take the stress that the elevator cable will encounter. I think the only material that's even feasible is carbon nanorods (or something like that), and those are so expensive to produce that it's impossible to make enough.

As an engineer in training, I guess it's gonna become my life's work to solve problems like these...


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Tundra
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PostPosted: Thu 10 Jul, 2008  Reply with quote

Sorry, but this idea just doesn't sound...well. Feasable.
How would they be able to make it effiecent and make the benefits outway the costs.

If it's a challenge they want, set up some greenhouses or something on other planets! ^^


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Magnus
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PostPosted: Thu 10 Jul, 2008  Reply with quote

I have heard about space elevators before, in the book "The science of discworld" by Terry Pratchhet, Ian Stewart & Jack Cohen (first published 1999)

Here is the quote:

The science of Discworld wrote:
Put up a satellite in geostationary orbit and drop a long cable down to the ground. It has to be an amazingly strong cable: we don't yet have the technology but 'carbon nanotubes' now being created in the laboratory come close. If you get the engineering right, you can build an elevator 22,000 miles high. The cost would be enormous, but you coukd then haul stuff into space just by pulling on the cable from above.
Ah, but you can't beat physics. The energy required would be exactly the same as if you used a rocket.
Of corse. Just as the energy required to lift a kangaroo is exactly the same as that required to lift a sack of potatoes.
The trick is to find a way to borrow energy and pay it back. The point is that once the space elevator is in place, after a while there's just as much stuff coming down it as there is going up. Indeed , if you're mining the Moon or the asteroids for metals, there will soon be be more stuff coming down than goes up. The materials going down provide the lifting energy for those going up. Unlike a rocket, which gets used up every time you fire it, a space elevator is self-ustaining



Current LD goal(s): Play chess on the moon :), transform into a guinea pig
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PostPosted: Thu 10 Jul, 2008  Reply with quote

interesting........

Kava do you have a link about the NASA elevator, is it something THEY said openly ?

(they meaning nasa)


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Scarecrow
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PostPosted: Fri 11 Jul, 2008  Reply with quote

I heard that they were thinking of finding a way to use spider silk as a meterial.
It would take a lonnnngggg time though



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G. atlanticus
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PostPosted: Fri 11 Jul, 2008  Reply with quote

I heard about this in a Scientific America magazine... at least 5 years ago? I don't think they ever figured it out. I don't think NASA has much time left as anything but a research facility. Space travel will be taken up by private parties. Much like tourism.


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Bruno
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PostPosted: Sat 12 Jul, 2008  Reply with quote

it's bloody impossible. guys? the moon moves around, yes? you can't bloody tie the moon to Arkansas, that just doesn't make any sense! i would even go on about how elevators are a limited technology and there's just to many metres you can make an elevator climb --- after which pressure + gravity make it physically impossible in three different aspects to make it keep climbing. but really, it's even more basic: one cannot bloody tie the moon to Terra!...

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Synneth Relmn
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PostPosted: Sat 12 Jul, 2008  Reply with quote

Who said anything about using the moon as the counterweight? I think the planned counterweight was a small asteroid.

EDIT: oh, the title....well, that was probably just a metaphor.


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Stormthunder
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PostPosted: Sun 13 Jul, 2008  Reply with quote

Synneth Relmn wrote:
Who said anything about using the moon as the counterweight? I think the planned counterweight was a small asteroid.

Asteroids orbit as well, you know. Bruno's right; it's not possible - even if you made a counter-weight, it would orbit. Maybe in several thousand/hundred years, someone will develop a technology to get around that, but certainly not any time soon.


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Magnus
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PostPosted: Sun 13 Jul, 2008  Reply with quote

ignore the counterweight, I think the cables would be the trouble not the orbit another quote from the same book as before

Quote:
At a particular height - about 22,000 miles (35,000 km) above the ground - a satellite will go round the earth exactly in synchrony with the Earth's rotation. So from the ground it would look like the satellite isn't moving.

I think that may be called geostationary orbit.



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echuta
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PostPosted: Sun 13 Jul, 2008  Reply with quote

Yeah i heard about this on Late night with Conan. It sounds interesting.
http://kcspacepirates.com/


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Sakoda
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PostPosted: Sun 13 Jul, 2008  Reply with quote

I heard about that project some time ago .
the biggest challenge (apart from fixing it in place tounge2 ) is the development of suitable materials which combine extremely low weight with very high flexibility and duration ... so far those prerequisites haven't been met and i doubt they will be anytime soon.


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