Thread: Space elevator

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  1. #1
    The Patient
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    Space elevator

    So just found intresting read, while doing some random serches from space stuff. I myself love stars, planets etc. So im looking forward on this and hope im still alive when this happens or if it happens. Anyone else happen to be like me, watch stars and planets alike with telescope and is super exited about this to happen, even tough id might be dead by then?


    http://www.tomsguide.com/us/japanese...ews-14259.html

  2. #2
    The Insane Reeve's Avatar
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    It'd be awesome to have a space elevator. With such a thing, we could begin to build ships and stations in orbit much more easily, and could even make them comfortable, since we wouldn't have to spend so much money to put the materials in orbit. It's sort of the space lover's wet dream.
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  3. #3
    That would be awesome. I always thought of this though, like a tower that goes through the atmosphere but isn't used for sightseeing, but rather waste disposal. Then I realized the last of physics wouldn't allow for something that tall to stand on it's own. Unless the idea from that link works that is.

  4. #4
    Summary for those who dont read the article (and from other sources) - Basically you would support part of the weight from the ground, then using a massive counterweight in orbit, you would create a tension line that works far better and more efficiently then compression does over vast distances. Carbon nano-tubes could potentially be strong enough to build such a line. Any " traditional tower" that we built that had the ability to reach orbit would be so massive it would have a gravitational field that would be strong enough to be felt by people, let alone instruments.

  5. #5
    The Insane Reeve's Avatar
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    Unfortunately, Carbon Nanotubes are already extremely expensive. Trying to manufacture 120,000 miles of carbon nanotube cables would likely bankrupt the Earth.
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  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Reeve View Post
    Unfortunately, Carbon Nanotubes are already extremely expensive. Trying to manufacture 120,000 miles of carbon nanotube cables would likely bankrupt the Earth.
    The massive counterweight isn't free either. The current cost to get a kg to geosynchronous is around $20k USD.

  7. #7
    I am Murloc! StayTuned's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reeve View Post
    Unfortunately, Carbon Nanotubes are already extremely expensive. Trying to manufacture 120,000 miles of carbon nanotube cables would likely bankrupt the Earth.
    Just sell them for free...

    not going to happen, I know. Dammit capitalism, y u no interested in space elevators?!



    Awsome idea, tho. I would really like to live during some great inventions like that.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Reeve View Post
    It'd be awesome to have a space elevator. With such a thing, we could begin to build ships and stations in orbit much more easily, and could even make them comfortable, since we wouldn't have to spend so much money to put the materials in orbit. It's sort of the space lover's wet dream.
    What Reeve said. Space elevators make me horny.

  9. #9
    The Insane Reeve's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Archangel Tyrael View Post
    What Reeve said. Space elevators make me horny.
    I'm glad we all know how to make you horny now, Tyrael. Now I just need to work up a few hundred trillion dollars to make it happen!
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  10. #10
    The Patient
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reeve View Post
    Unfortunately, Carbon Nanotubes are already extremely expensive. Trying to manufacture 120,000 miles of carbon nanotube cables would likely bankrupt the Earth.
    The expenses also really make me wonder, if it would be any less expensive to use this elevator then actually fly to space which is 20 to 40 million $. Not gonna get that much by anytime soon

  11. #11
    Over a 500 year picture, such things become feasible. The easiest source of a massive counterweight would not be to launch it, but to collect it from space. Would be far cheaper to send a mission to the asteroid belt to pick up one and bring it back then launch that much material into orbit. If we put forth the effort, we probably have the technology to do such a mission (albeit, expensively and probably not efficiently). The nanotubes - that is a different story.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Reeve View Post
    I'm glad we all know how to make you horny now, Tyrael. Now I just need to work up a few hundred trillion dollars to make it happen!
    And men still say that it's hard to please women.

    You just need a Space Elevator ! Or Trillions to build it !

  13. #13
    NASA is currently running a "competition" for the most viable solution to a space elevator with a $1million reward for the best... pity america doesn't like space enough to invest in it anymore. Not that I can talk, Britain doesn't even have a space programme...

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by StayTuned View Post
    Just sell them for free...

    not going to happen, I know. Dammit capitalism, y u no interested in space elevators?!



    Awsome idea, tho. I would really like to live during some great inventions like that.
    You know, I don't think things are expensive just because a salesperson put a sticker on it. I know nothing about these items, but I'm sure their costs are driven up by how difficult they are to manufacture, and how many people depend on getting paid by doing it.
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    Stood in the Fire McSpriest's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MaskEd View Post
    So just found intresting read, while doing some random serches from space stuff. I myself love stars, planets etc. So im looking forward on this and hope im still alive when this happens or if it happens. Anyone else happen to be like me, watch stars and planets alike with telescope and is super exited about this to happen, even tough id might be dead by then?


    http://www.tomsguide.com/us/japanese...ews-14259.html
    an elevator as it is described in the article this would not work.
    a cabled elevator would not be possible for that height. the issue is not the weight of the car its the weight of the cable. and further, the energy required to get ANY elevator to that height (including a cableless elevator which also would have a great number of technical issues) would be more than just launching a space shuttle. its not physically possible.

    and for the record I'm an architect, i've studied structure, and I know a bit about elevators. that is not a feasible solution.

    EDIT:
    to add to that, the fact that is would take 7 and half days to reach its destination... yeah not feasible to run and elevator for 7.5 days straight the heat generated from the gears would cause problems.

    and a cable-less elevator still requires a large amount of energy and mechanical space.

    a magnetic elevator (which is really the only close option) has serious flaws and requires a straighter track than an object of that height could provide.

    a stiff member at that height would immediately break
    Last edited by McSpriest; 2012-02-29 at 05:01 PM.

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  17. #17
    The Insane Reeve's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by McSpriest View Post
    an elevator as it is described in the article this would not work.
    a cabled elevator would not be possible for that height. the issue is not the weight of the car its the weight of the cable. and further, the energy required to get ANY elevator to that height (including a cableless elevator which also would have a great number of technical issues) would be more than just launching a space shuttle. its not physically possible.

    and for the record I'm an architect, i've studied structure, and I know a bit about elevators. that is not a feasible solution.
    If the cable was all one giant loop, wouldn't the cable be its own counterweight? Like a ski lift, the weight of lifting the cable and the chairs up the slope is offset by the weight of the cable and chairs coming down the slope.
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  18. #18
    Stood in the Fire McSpriest's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reeve View Post
    If the cable was all one giant loop, wouldn't the cable be its own counterweight? Like a ski lift, the weight of lifting the cable and the chairs up the slope is offset by the weight of the cable and chairs coming down the slope.
    no its not the ability to lift itself that is the problem its that you wouldn't be able to keep that much weight aloft. as in the weight is so massive there is no way it wouldn't all fall back to earth the force of gravity pulling down would require the mother of all gears and mechanical rooms at the top. it would rip through anything tis attached to.

    a ski lift has HUGE wheels turning the belt, and the cable is mostly supported at a good number of locations. cable is VERY heavy

    think of it this way you have a gear at the top and bottom of the elevator the gear at the top is always bigger because it needs to support the weight of the cable. in this case the structure of the elevator (or multiple elevators as it would have to be) would need to support that weight. the cost of creating something so massive as to support that weight is more costly than launching a space shuttle. hence its not feasible
    Last edited by McSpriest; 2012-02-29 at 05:11 PM.

  19. #19
    The Insane Reeve's Avatar
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    Yes, cable is very heavy, but this cable would be made from Carbon nanotubes, which are relatively light, and the farther away from Earth they got, the lighter they would get, due to the lower force exerted by Earth's gravity. At some point, the centripetal force of the counterweight pulling on the cable should be stronger than the pull of Earth's gravity, and then remain much stronger for the remainder of the distance to that counterweight. Now, whether you could build a system to hitch it to on that counterweight and on Earth that would be able to support those stresses, I don't really know.

    Edit: I don't really know that much on this, and I'm totally armchair speculating. But I think it's good to speculate and let people like McSpriest who know something about structural engineering explain why it doesn't work.
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  20. #20
    I am Murloc! StayTuned's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vizzle View Post
    You know, I don't think things are expensive just because a salesperson put a sticker on it. I know nothing about these items, but I'm sure their costs are driven up by how difficult they are to manufacture, and how many people depend on getting paid by doing it.
    well it is indeed a bit more complicated than that, but in fact... costs aren't really driven up by how difficult things are to manufacture. What do you think an Apple iPad costs in production? I can tell you. First gen iPad 1 was about 197€ in production. I paid 440€ for it. So more than double the price just because it's "Apple".

    Now, I do not know how much a Carbon Nanotube is worth in production, but I guess if they sell them at production cost, things would not be that expensive anymore. But people are greedy and want to make a fortune out of everything, that's why I don't see something like this happening any time soon.

    I can remember one episode of Star Trek, where one of those guys managed to go back in time or something like this, and one of the "old" humans asked one of the future guys how on earth they managed to finance such a fucking huge spaceship. He said that humanity abandoned the system of money and focused mainly on progress for the sake of humanity.

    And even tho this is just a movie, I think only if we overcome our greed and put our focus on the "greater" thing, we will be able to accomplish something REALLY great.

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