Climbing to the moon
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#1: Climbing to the moon Author: Kava PostPosted: Thu 10 Jul, 2008
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?

#2: Re: Climbing to the moon Author: Traveler PostPosted: Thu 10 Jul, 2008
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.

#3:  Author: Kava PostPosted: Thu 10 Jul, 2008
It sounds like a cool idea, but its so simple sounding for space travel.

#4:  Author: Synneth Relmn PostPosted: Thu 10 Jul, 2008
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...

#5:  Author: Tundra PostPosted: Thu 10 Jul, 2008
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! ^^

#6:  Author: Magnus PostPosted: Thu 10 Jul, 2008
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

#7:  Author: Presence of Light PostPosted: Thu 10 Jul, 2008

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

(they meaning nasa)

#8:  Author: Scarecrow PostPosted: Fri 11 Jul, 2008
I heard that they were thinking of finding a way to use spider silk as a meterial.
It would take a lonnnngggg time though

#9:  Author: G. atlanticus PostPosted: Fri 11 Jul, 2008
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.

#10:  Author: Bruno PostPosted: Sat 12 Jul, 2008
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!...

#11:  Author: Synneth Relmn PostPosted: Sat 12 Jul, 2008
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.

#12:  Author: Stormthunder PostPosted: Sun 13 Jul, 2008
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.

#13:  Author: Magnus PostPosted: Sun 13 Jul, 2008
ignore the counterweight, I think the cables would be the trouble not the orbit another quote from the same book as before

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.

#14:  Author: echuta PostPosted: Sun 13 Jul, 2008
Yeah i heard about this on Late night with Conan. It sounds interesting.

#15:  Author: Sakoda PostPosted: Sun 13 Jul, 2008
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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