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#27928 - 10/04/08 12:22 AM Space Elevator Possibility
Mike Kremer Offline

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Registered: 10/16/04
Posts: 1696
Loc: London UK

LONDON, England (CNN Oct: 3rd '08) -- A new space race is officially under way

A conference discussing developments in space elevator concepts is being held in Japan next month. There hundreds of engineers and scientists from Asia, Europe and the Americas are are coming together to work on the design of a Carbon Nano-tube lift that
will take you directly to the one hundred-thousandth floor.

A Japanese group has more than 100 engineers trying to design a space elevator.
Western Australia and the Galapagos Islands are potential locations for base, out of the way of potential typhoons.

Experts now believe that the concept is well within the bounds of possibility -- maybe even within our lifetimes.
The cable would extend into the sky, eventually reaching a satellite docking station orbiting in space, to be used as a counterweight.
Despite these developments, you could be excused for thinking it all sounds a little far-fetched. Indeed, if successfully built, the space elevator would be an unprecedented feat of human engineering.
If it sounds like the stuff of fiction, maybe that's because it once was, until Arthur C. Clarke brought the idea of a space elevator to a mass audience in 1979, with his novel "The Fountains of Paradise"

NASA is holding a $4 million Space Elevator Challenge to encourage designs for a successful space elevator.

The technology driving the race to build the first space elevator is the quickly developing material or strong carbon nanotube. It is lightweight and has a tensile strength 180
times stronger than that of a steel cable, at the present time. Currently, it is the only material with the potential to be strong enough to use to manufacture elevator cable.

"Building a space elevator is a matter of when, not if,....which will herald a major new period in human history, which will turn humans into a space-bearing species, around 2030" Scientists say.

***Thoughts
Put this in the 'Not Quite Science' category,...until 2030? Hehe
Have they thought what a thick woven Carbon Nano-tube, that conducts electricity, might do to 'ground' the electrical Aurora particle streams, running along the magnetic fields of the Earth? mad
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"You will never find a real Human being - Even in a mirror." ....Mike Kremer.



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#27937 - 10/05/08 12:48 AM Re: Space Elevator Possibility [Re: Mike Kremer]
redewenur Offline
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Registered: 02/14/07
Posts: 1840
Mike: "Put this in the 'Not Quite Science' category,...until 2030?"

No, I think this is real science, Mike. The delay appears to be due not to any fantasy regarding the science - which we are told is quite sound - but rather to the best strategies for implementation. Even so, one may expect the rapidity of technological advances to lead to many modifications before it actually gets off the ground (so to speak smile )

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#27938 - 10/05/08 03:19 AM Re: Space Elevator Possibility [Re: redewenur]
Mike Kremer Offline

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Registered: 10/16/04
Posts: 1696
Loc: London UK
Originally Posted By: redewenur
Mike: "Put this in the 'Not Quite Science' category,...until 2030?"

No, I think this is real science, Mike. The delay appears to be due not to any fantasy regarding the science - which we are told is quite sound - but rather to the best strategies for implementation. Even so, one may expect the rapidity of technological advances to lead to many modifications before it actually gets off the ground (so to speak smile )



Originally Posted By: Mike Kremer


No I'm sure its real Science redewenur. You are right.
Its your very apt phrase "......before it gets of the ground (so to speak)"
That worrys me.
Manned satellites orbit around 200-250 miles high.
Its the manufacture of woven carbon nanotube fibre into a 2-3 ft diameter rope 250 miles long, that worrys me.
It would be a huge almost impossible undertaking, unless a single hairlike nano-fibre could be extruded as one continuous filament (like glass fibre). Which I doubt.
So a few hundred thousand continuous extrusion machines would have to wind 250 mile lengths onto possibley hundreds of bobbins.
Which would then all have to rotate around each other, in just the same way as cotton, or twisted rope is produced today.
Until the desired thickness was reached. I'm guessing it would
end up as a woven rope, anything from 2-3 feet in diameter?
I assume the total length of 250 miles would have to be put up in one length. It may be strong, but it will still be tons heavy.
You have got to use the centrifugal force of the Earth to keep it taut.
Therefore I predict one single 250 mile length wound up on a 1/2 mile diameter Gigantic steel Bobbin!
With rope 3ft in diam.....a 55ft long bobbin would allow 17 turns side by side.....thats about 50 miles of rope. Allowing for 3 miles per turn
Allow 5 layers, should equal 250 miles long. The eventual steel bobbin diam: being about 2670ft max diam: when full.
Two ft diam rope on the same length bobbin would be a little less in diam:
The 1/2 mile diam bobbin is guesstimated, one can't allow a curvature to set in. The 55ft length is guesstimated for practicality.
Ok we now have our 250 miles of pristine Carbon rope on a huge bobbin...just how do we get all that weight 250 miles high?
Grab the end and fly it up using multistage rockets, possibley preceeded by a gigantic Helium balloon.
Anybody got any ideas? Let me know. Better still contact NASA,
and see what they say.
Getting it up is fantasy, as the actress said to the Bishop.
Which is why I put it in the Not Quite Science category.
Or do we forget a huge bobbin, and lay the lot on the ground, so one end can be concreted a few hundred feet deep into bedrock?
And then fly it up?




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"You will never find a real Human being - Even in a mirror." ....Mike Kremer.



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#27948 - 10/06/08 12:02 PM Re: Space Elevator Possibility [Re: Mike Kremer]
redewenur Offline
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Registered: 02/14/07
Posts: 1840
How about starting the 'Big Haul' with a thin, lightweight cable. Take this to an altitude where cetrifugal force keeps it in place...send up mass to attach to the top end, thus increasing the cetrifugal force...attach a heavier cable to the bottom end and haul that up...send up more mass...and so on, until the final cable is in place.

If might be more feasible to lower the first cable from space, eh?

Notice I had to change my signature especially for this post grin
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#27956 - 10/07/08 01:47 AM Re: Space Elevator Possibility [Re: redewenur]
Mike Kremer Offline

Megastar

Registered: 10/16/04
Posts: 1696
Loc: London UK
Originally Posted By: redewenur
How about starting the 'Big Haul' with a thin, lightweight cable. Take this to an altitude where cetrifugal force keeps it in place...send up mass to attach to the top end, thus increasing the cetrifugal force...attach a heavier cable to the bottom end and haul that up...send up more mass...and so on, until the final cable is in place.

If might be more feasible to lower the first cable from space, eh?

Notice I had to change my signature especially for this post grin


Originally Posted By: Mike Kremer


Reply to redewenur .....You are ABSOLUTELY right!!!

Your idea WILL work, you got my wholehearted admiration for what I believe may well become
the method used by NASA.

Here's my slight modification to your fab idea.
You take up a 200 mile long spool of thin Carbon Fibre to a manned fixed stationary Space Satellite...then shoot, or rocket down the weighted end, Earthwards....where it is caught, and further pulled down to ground level.
Then a thicker, and progressively thicker, Nano-cables are attached and hauled up to this Stationary Space satellite.
The Stationary Sat: becoming the centrifugal counter balance after various Satellite height adjustments are made during the cable deployment?

Now..... any ideas as to how they get rid of the couple of thousand miles of surplus Nano Fibre (guesstimated) that are pulled up until they reach the required cable thickness?

Rede, you should Email the working committee who are in Japan, at this present time. They might offer you a well paid job?.


Keep your signature...its unique.

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"You will never find a real Human being - Even in a mirror." ....Mike Kremer.



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#27959 - 10/07/08 12:36 PM Re: Space Elevator Possibility [Re: Mike Kremer]
redewenur Offline
Megastar

Registered: 02/14/07
Posts: 1840
Thanks Mike, you've just increased my feel-good factor. And, yes, your mods make sense.

Originally Posted By: Mike Kremer
Now..... any ideas as to how they get rid of the couple of thousand miles of surplus Nano Fibre (guesstimated) that are pulled up until they reach the required cable thickness?

My guess is that the investors might want to achieve a bigger bang for the buck by re-using the cables already in orbit, i.e. to set up at least one further elevator, which would not only double capacity, but also serve as an emergency backup.

Ultimately, though, there would still remain surplus cables.
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#27982 - 10/09/08 12:10 AM Re: Space Elevator Possibility [Re: redewenur]
Arcturus66 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/03/08
Posts: 7
WOW! Neat topic. I remember reading this proposition as a kid. I honestly don't remember if it was Clarke or Asimov; But I had dug this paperback collection of short stories out of someone's trash and read that story -- It was called a 'beanstalk' in that story, and it was composed of silicon carbide. In the story, it met with somewhat of a bad end -- a Parallel to the biblical "Tower of Babel."

Anyways, they built a 44,000 mile long 'beanstalk' out in space and 'lowered' it to Earth in geosynchronous orbit such that gravity balanced centripital. It was 'tethered' at the equator. Mined mass coming down the 'elevator' was to balance ships going up and 'slung off the end into space.'

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#28576 - 11/30/08 01:56 PM Re: Space Elevator Possibility [Re: Arcturus66]
yourmaker316 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/26/08
Posts: 17
Loc: Delaware, United States of Ame...
I like.

I watched a special about this on Nova Science Now.
Here are my concerns:
The method in which you got the cable there is extremely plausible just kinda time costly, but hey it's space we got all the time we need.

How's this elevator supposed to get there? Rocket? The special suggested a laser shot at a solar panel. That could work, but there's got to be a weight and speed limit unless it's a big laser giving off a lot of energy.
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#28589 - 12/01/08 05:37 AM Re: Space Elevator Possibility [Re: yourmaker316]
Ellis Offline
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Registered: 01/08/07
Posts: 1490
Loc: Australia
A semi-serio

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#28594 - 12/01/08 07:58 AM Re: Space Elevator Possibility [Re: yourmaker316]
redewenur Offline
Megastar

Registered: 02/14/07
Posts: 1840
Originally Posted By: yourmaker316
How's this elevator supposed to get there?

Good question. I don't know what the experimenters are working on at the moment. Maybe someone else does.

Incidentally, somewhat related to space-elevators are 'tethers'. There are some interesting sources of info about them on the net. The longest so far (and used sucessfully) was 31.7km.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/YES2

"The YES2 mission took place 2007-09-25. The mission objective was to deploy a 30 km long and 0.5 mm thin tether in order to release a mini-satellite and re-entry vehicle called Fotino, the latter into a predetermined trajectory to a landing area in Kazakhstan. The mission was largely successful"
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#28598 - 12/01/08 08:57 PM Re: Space Elevator Possibility [Re: redewenur]
yourmaker316 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/26/08
Posts: 17
Loc: Delaware, United States of Ame...
Well let's hope modern scientist remember this experiment in their discussions. It'll probably save them a lot of thinking time.
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#28604 - 12/02/08 01:05 AM Re: Space Elevator Possibility [Re: yourmaker316]
Ellis Offline
Megastar

Registered: 01/08/07
Posts: 1490
Loc: Australia
Something happened to the previous post.

I was going to say that I thought the idea was to construct the elevator from the space station to the next point. That may be another station, a satellite or even the moon. A shuttle would be used to get to the elevator, which was proposed to be constructed out of carbon nano fibre. I have no idea if this is possible, but I remembered it as it was such an original idea.


Edited by Ellis (12/02/08 01:06 AM)

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#28639 - 12/04/08 12:38 AM Re: Space Elevator Possibility [Re: Ellis]
yourmaker316 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/26/08
Posts: 17
Loc: Delaware, United States of Ame...
All I know and have known is the Elevator from Earth up. station to station, or station to moon is a good idea, but at this moment in time it would be cheaper, faster, easier, and more beneficial to go Earth up.
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