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Adjutant
 
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Post 09 Oct 2017, 4:38 am

Arthur C. Clarke is supposed to have been the one who put forth the idea of a "space elevator" in one of his older sci fi works. Essentially, if a geosynchronous satellite can "hover" (orbit, whatever) the same exact spot over the Earth's equator, a line could be extended downward from it to the point directly below it on the ground. The tether could be reinforced, built around, whatever....as long as the material were strong enough to be able to hoist stuff up to and down from geosynchronous orbit, you have a space elevator. Send goods, people, whatever up and down into space and beyond, without the need for expensive rocket launches.

It would cost a fraction of what it takes to put a man in orbit via rocket, to put him/her in space by means of a trip of a few hours up and down.

Granted, not all the technology exists yet to be able to do it. But people said "impossible" to splitting the atom, to flight, to space travel itself...am I the only one here who thinks it's far from a silly idea?
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Post 14 Oct 2017, 11:35 am

JimHackerMP wrote:Arthur C. Clarke is supposed to have been the one who put forth the idea of a "space elevator" in one of his older sci fi works. Essentially, if a geosynchronous satellite can "hover" (orbit, whatever) the same exact spot over the Earth's equator, a line could be extended downward from it to the point directly below it on the ground. The tether could be reinforced, built around, whatever....as long as the material were strong enough to be able to hoist stuff up to and down from geosynchronous orbit, you have a space elevator. Send goods, people, whatever up and down into space and beyond, without the need for expensive rocket launches.

It would cost a fraction of what it takes to put a man in orbit via rocket, to put him/her in space by means of a trip of a few hours up and down.

Granted, not all the technology exists yet to be able to do it. But people said "impossible" to splitting the atom, to flight, to space travel itself...am I the only one here who thinks it's far from a silly idea?

The idea pre-dates Clarke, and it comes from Russia. He wrote it into a 1979 novel, but was inspired by scientific discussion on the idea from the 60s onward.

It's a great idea, and the main issue is the strength of the material needed, but there are other aspects, like protection from space debris and the ionised gases at the edge of the atmosphere. I reckon we are likely to be building one within my lifetime.
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Post 14 Oct 2017, 11:55 am

Don't know if I could stand the Muzak for that long of a ride.

:hide:
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Adjutant
 
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Post 16 Oct 2017, 2:35 pm

SLOTerp wrote:Don't know if I could stand the Muzak for that long of a ride.

:hide:


Muzak?

You really think we'll be building one in our life time Danivon? It wouldnt surprise me, but it does seem a long way away. Then again, I did mention the atom, flight, space travel etc., didn't I?

there's no way we can open space travel wholesale to all but a tiny fraction of the public until such a thing was built. Chemical rockets are too expensive and too inefficient to take more than handfuls of people up into space. An elevator would be dynamite!
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Post 16 Oct 2017, 2:42 pm

JimHackerMP wrote:
SLOTerp wrote:Don't know if I could stand the Muzak for that long of a ride.

:hide:


Muzak?
Elevator music.

You really think we'll be building one in our life time Danivon? It wouldnt surprise me, but it does seem a long way away. Then again, I did mention the atom, flight, space travel etc., didn't I?
I reckon we could make a start in a few decades. It would take a while to complete. And may need more than one go at it.

there's no way we can open space travel wholesale to all but a tiny fraction of the public until such a thing was built. Chemical rockets are too expensive and too inefficient to take more than handfuls of people up into space. An elevator would be dynamite!
True, but other than just going there, what reason do we have to get to orbit? The real value of space travel comes from going beyond the gravity well, and that will still be expensive and rare for a long time.
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Post 17 Oct 2017, 4:39 pm

I think the reason people haven't traveled beyond the gravity well of Earth is partly the prohibitive cost of getting even into orbit alone. The moon would be a far easier trip if you could take a ride up to geosynchronous orbit first, without mucking about with chemical rockets.