Will there ever be a space elevator?

Will there ever be a space elevator?

A space elevator is possible with today’s technology, researchers say (we just need to dangle it off the moon) Space elevators would dramatically reduce the cost of reaching space but have never been technologically feasible.

Is a space tether possible?

Researchers are still looking into what materials would make the best space tethers. In fact, one possibility is based on fishing line! The tether will have to be able to resist the corrosion caused by atomic oxygen in the upper reaches of Earth’s atmosphere, as well as damage from micrometeoroids.

Why is there no space elevator?

The biggest challenge of building a space elevator may be the 100,000-kilometer-long tether. It would have to be incredibly strong to handle the gravitational and centrifugal forces pulling on it. The steel used in tall buildings wouldn’t work for a space elevator cable.

What would happen if a space elevator fell?

If the break occurred at higher altitude, up to about 25,000 kilometres (16,000 mi), the lower portion of the elevator would descend to Earth and drape itself along the equator east of the anchor point, while the now unbalanced upper portion would rise to a higher orbit.

Is China building a space elevator?

China Shoots for Stars With Plans to Build Space Elevator by 2045. (Yicai Global) Nov. 17 — The China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology, a subordinate of the nation’s main space program contractor China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp. By 2035, CASC hopes to make all of its launch vehicles reusable.

Would a space elevator slow the Earth rotation?

Building the elevator will slow the earth by a negligible amount. Over time, launching spacecraft will slow it more but bringing back ore from the asteroid mines will speed it back up.

Does a space elevator have to be on the equator?

To support the weight of a tether and payload, the object to be used as a “space anchor” must actually be in an equatorial orbit but at a greater than geostationary altitude. The whole point of a space elevator is to get a payload out of Earth’s gravity well.

Is a space elevator possible on the moon?

To suspend a kilogram of cable or payload just above the surface of the Moon would require 1,000 kg of counterweight, 26,000 km beyond L1. A space elevator could be anchored near a lunar pole, though not directly at it.

Are space elevators safe?

Yes, it would. When the International Space Station is under threat from being hit by a satellite in orbit, it can fire its thrusters to get out of the way. A space elevator, whether it’s anchored to Earth or the moon, is static and immovable. It’s at the complete mercy of any object headed its way.

How much would space elevator cost?

A space elevator built according to the Edwards proposal is estimated to cost $6 billion.

How long would space elevator take?

Travel on a space elevator would not be fast! The travel time from one end to the other would be several days to a month. To put the distance in perspective, if the climber moved at 300 km/hr (190 mph), it would take five days to reach geosynchronous orbit.

How high would a space elevator have to be?

approximately 62,000 miles
The counterweight spins around the Earth, keeping the cable straight and allowing the robotic lifters to ride up and down the ribbon. Under the design proposed by LiftPort, the space elevator would be approximately 62,000 miles (100,000 km) high.

Could a space elevator go to the Moon?

Penoyre and Sandford, a graduate student in astronomy at Columbia University and a co-author of the study, call their lunar space elevator concept Spaceline. Its central element is a cable that would be anchored to the moon and span more than 200,000 miles to a point above Earth’s surface — perhaps an orbit about 27,000 miles from our planet.

Will Japan build a space elevator?

The concept of a space elevator seems to interest Japan a lot. In 2012, Obayashi Corporation announced plans to build a space elevator for the mid-century. In their vision, a cabin moving along a cable could carry about thirty people to the geostationary orbit in just over a week.

What is a space elevator and how does it work?

Similarly, by extending the space elevator further than the geostationary orbit, it is possible to reach the speed of release of the Earth’s orbit and thus to put payloads on an interplanetary trajectory. Incidentally, the space elevator could serve as a giant communication relay capable of covering the needs of an entire hemisphere.

Are space elevators the future of science fiction?

Space elevators are likely to remain science fiction for a long time. Even if the necessary materials are developed in the coming decades, it is unlikely that the economic interest will push a corporation or a state to build it, especially when the rockets finally seem to promise reducing the cost of access to space.


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