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Need opinions and guidance building a space elevator.

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by mcglyph, Sep 2, 2012.

  1. mcglyph

    mcglyph

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    Right now, imagine when we humans were just beginning to fly simple airplanes. They were dangerous, hard to maneuver, and didn't fly very long. If you can, imagine that very first cool, dusty, summer day; incredulous, you are watching early flight happen for just a few seconds as a horribly loud wobbly contraption made with bailing wire, thin wood slats, and paper, just barely gets off the ground, and then just as quickly falls from the sky, jarring it's one crazy inventor/pilot. What might have been your thoughts? Maybe the same as when you read the title of this post? In ten years Michael Laine and Liftport will build an elevator to space. If you are interested in this concept, you have a few options. You can read this, where the concept and realities are specified http://liftport.com/pages/_/liftpor...public-inclusion-policy-social-media-essay-r2 There is also a Kickstarter.com campaign where you can donate as little as a dollar. Think about the number of people Orville Wright talked to about his contraption...how few believed him, acted in any way to help him...then think about walking to see your cousin Larry in Potomac, vs getting on the 727...! Today, I invite you to be one of the very few thorough, informed skeptics..
  2. i_got_a_mohawk

    i_got_a_mohawk

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    Interesting. Though I don't see it happening.

    Just because some things can seem impossible, and become true, doesn't mean it's the same for every impossible thought out there.

    Would be an interesting engineering feat to attempt though.
  3. tastybasslines

    tastybasslines I'll hump your leg Supporting Member

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    It is my understanding that you would have to go as high as 225 miles above earth to be safe enough in space that you are avoiding the last of debris in the atmosphere. That's a hell of a long way.

    The Burj Dubai is only a half mile above earth and that was some feat of engineering. How to account for weather? Even if you could somehow build it, it would be destroyed shortly there after. And how to maintain it?

    I don't see it happening either.
  4. i_got_a_mohawk

    i_got_a_mohawk

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    Would make an awesome planetary baseball bat for batting asteroids away !
  5. basscooker

    basscooker

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    Disclosures:
    Owner, Chopshopamps.com
    didn't check the link, but i've seen a mention of something like this in a future tech type doc before. geosynchronous orbit and super-polymer cable or something, right? seems at this point it's too problematic. diverting air traffic, heavy damaging weather, and O2/pressure/temperature issues to begin with, and i'm a moron. i wish all inventors/maveric experimentors/tinkerers the best of luck, but this is pretty ambitious to say the least. would you volunteer to take the first trip up? gee, it worked fine until 50,000 feet....and what about re-entry? radiation? static electricity? decompression? wow that just sounds like too many very expensive issues to deal with. where would the elevator go? for what price per ticket? even if it gets done, who could afford it,with enough frequency to keep it operable and in proper maintenence? how would one repair cable damage, or for that matter, inspect the 100 miles of cable daily? my thoughts.
  6. placedesjardins

    placedesjardins

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    Uh, it's a space dream or scam. Tall towers and skyscrapers sway with the wind. I cannot imagine anyone building a structure a mile high that can flex with the wind and not break. How are they going to build a structure that is multiple miles high?
    100,000 "believers" who donate at least $1 would give the president of the company $100,000. That's nice.
  7. colcifer

    colcifer Esteemed Nitpicker Supporting Member

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    Eventually, centrifugal force will cancel out the effect of gravity so that the structure won't have to support its own weight. Won't be done soon, though.
  8. Indiana Mike

    Indiana Mike Supporting Member

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    Americans ,remember when you were a kid digging a hole and your parents would say "keep going ,your almost to china"

    And you wanted to believe them .

    The space elevator reminds me of that.

    I'll stay on the ground.

    Everyone is entitled to their dreams. I can respect that . I just don't see how it could be done with all the environmental factors to overcome.
  9. MakiSupaStar

    MakiSupaStar The Lowdown Diggler Supporting Member

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    They tried this during bilblical times. IIRC it didn't work out so well
  10. Sequimite

    Sequimite

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    Arthur C. Clarke, of "2001, A Space Odyssey" fame described this in detail back in the sixties. Clarke was an engineer in his day job.
  11. mcglyph

    mcglyph

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    Thank you all for replying. Hopefully, some of you either will or did take 3.3 minutes reading the linked essay would have taken. Either way I ask you to tell everyone you know, tell them there is this kook on TB who is talking about an idea as ambitious and as completely unlikely as every great thing ever attempted was until it happened. Tell your kids and neighbors, show them the link. Relish the knowledge most amazing things ever heard about or learned of, were only accomplished after successfully facing the incredibly difficult task of motivating just a single person (let alone as many as it actually took) to push one more amazing accomplishment into the field of fantastic human endeavor. Tell everyone you know. Please tell everyone today you did your part, as skeptic(informed or otherwise), biting cynic or maybe even engaged, active, willing supporter.
  12. mcglyph

    mcglyph

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    The first trip? Yes. I would in a heart beat. You don't want to be Chuck Yeager? Neal Armstrong? Alan Shepherd? Really? Cause this is what we are talking about, and in fact, Michael Laine is a former NASA engineer. Let me say though, I REALLY appreciate this intelligent discourse. The essay Mr. Laine wrote talks about this exact occurrence as absolutely necessary for this project's eventual success. There must be cynics, skeptics, and obviously ardent, motivated supporters. And there will be.
  13. mcglyph

    mcglyph

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    As noted in the essay, it will also immeasurably improve and support a better life here on earth. As the space program has before.
  14. mcglyph

    mcglyph

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    Michael Laine the brain child behind this amazing idea, was an engineer at NASA. I love that movie.
  15. mcglyph

    mcglyph

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    The essay notes it will take much more than he is even currently asking on kickstarter.com, which is 8k. The pledged total right now, is up to about 55k, with ten days left in the current campaign. Even if you don't want to be a supporter the concept is really pretty interesting. Check it out. This is not a scam. Michael Laine was a NASA contractor he's not some dude living in his mother's garage tuning a ham radio. Check it out.
  16. Simo98

    Simo98

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    The space elevator is the next big step in human space exploration and expansion, infact I believe it is pretty much a necessity to make these things viable at all.

    The technology exists (although is in need of some refinement), the theory is there, all that is left is for someone to bite the bullet and go for it. It's an ambitious project, and would have to be one of the largest feats of engineering ever attempted, but I certainly believe it to be achievable in the not too distant future. The costs involved in such a project are going to be enormous, however the potential payoffs are well and truly worth it in my opinion, not just the financial ones, but the opportunities that will be opened up by having an operational space elevator.

    Of course, the financial ones are there too. Whomever does undertake and complete a space elevator would essentially have control (and a monopoly) over nearly everything and anything coming and going from the planet. Not to mention the other potential business opportunities; building and renting lab space in orbit, producing solar power in space, even tourism in the long run. With private companies looking into business opportunities in space more and more, there has to be someone seriously considering the option.

    Construction of a space elevator is already possible in a lower gravity environment, like Mars, or the Moon, using existing technology and materials. The technology we need to complete a terrestrial space elevator is in the works and not too far off (Carbon Nanotubes are the big one) and if someone were to actually undertake the project and fund the development of these technologies in a big way the timeframe could likely be shortened even further.

    Currently the costs associated with getting stuff into space, machinery/supplies/etc is over $11,000 a kg, these costs should theoretically be reduced to as little as $100 a kg, meaning pretty much anything to do with space is going to be 100 times more accessible. Not to mention the increased safety and reliability, and being much more environmentally sustainable.

    If we ever want to go anywhere outside of our own planet in a big way, the space elevator is going to be what makes it achievable.
  17. mcglyph

    mcglyph

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    ^^^^This. Is. An. Informed. TB. Er.

    You are of course correct. As noted in the kickstarter.com project blurb, the technology exists today, although the ultimate goal is 800M and an untold number of baby steps accomplished over about eight years work. Thank you again for slinging some good, well thought out, reasoned, words to this thread. Please consider checking out the kickstarter.com project and becoming an active supporter if you are not already.
  18. DwaynieAD

    DwaynieAD

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    link talks a lot but doesn't really say much but they need 100,000 fans.. so its a new facebook group?

    how is this going to improve quality of life? I saw no mention of how in all of that bloated mess.
  19. Ricnroll

    Ricnroll

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  20. mcglyph

    mcglyph

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    Thank for reading. To your question. There are so many...I'm mean really. I give you the first two which came to mind.
    One, no more expensive, complicated, kinda dangerous rocket launches for, "routine" near earth missions. This in itself would be huge.

    Second, with a very well designed, immediately useful space elevator, the very real benefits of working in a weightless environment are more quickly realized. Such things as newer stronger lighter materials perhaps.

    Ok one more. In great tragic events, like the Tsunami from last year, one of the main problems is not just finding trapped people, but communicating to workers etc. Perhaps a space elevator with an infrared camera, could instantly help pinpoint victims and communicate with aid workers to save lives. No waiting for a satellite to pass by, and


    Of course if you have one space elevator well then you build two, and then at some pint you start really using space, SPACE. Then one day, you have nine or ten, or fifteen, because let's face it, they are a hundred times cheaper to make and operate than one rocket launch. So now you have nine space elevators, going up, doing this or that, don't have to have anyone manning the thing, it's a robot of course, doing the things only robots can do. So now you have nine space elevators, all going up, and down doing this or that. Really exploring the moon, or perhaps enabling the population of near earth space. Imagine living in space, waking up in space, heading to the space elevator, going to work in Manhattan (a much different place in this scenario perhaps). One thing is sure though, none of this is possible without team work. And that is the most important of all! The 100000 people you mentioned. Do you know one of the many reasons the Cold War ended? The exploration of space. We realized cooperation would make things much easier in space, so this thought process while perhaps not the main reason, did certainly smooth the move a certain degree. Do you know how many countries have a space program? 50! Did you know Mexico is one? Space exploration appears to be one area where we as a civilization can work together! And let's face it, this planet needs ten times more working together. And the first step towards from earth elevators will be lunar elevators. The earth elevator unfortunately does come with MANY more problems, issues, concerns, etc. However, the lunar elevator is well within reach and will be accomplished in less than ten years.

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