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Discussion in 'Current Events' started by mark!, Oct 3, 2008.
I wonder where they got the idea from.......
Wow, so they announced it after Japan did a few weeks ago? Go figure. It's all a competition, isn't it.
China is probably going to try it as well.
I just don't see how this is possible unless this elevator is surrounded by a thick tube of lead glass.
The theory is an old one. It's feasible with advanced enough materials and engineering.
This isn't new...
The space elevator concept appeared for the first time in 1895 when Russian scientist Konstantin Tsiolkovsky considered a tower that would reach all the way into space. The space elevator was first developed in detail by a Leningrad engineer, Yuri Artsutanov, in 1960 and later by several American engineers quite unaware of Artsutanov's work. [from a paper published in 1981]
In 2005, NASA's First Annual Space Elevator Competition ended with no winners.
Who cares if the idea isn't new?
Whether someone achieves it is the question. I know that just to make cables long enough, the Japanese were thinking of using material (carbon nanotubes or something?) that they couldn't get enough of right now. THey just consider it possible because the material exist, not that it's easy to get.
But, Imagine waiting for one? I mean its bad enough where I work and only one is functional - seems to take forever to get one if its already at the top.
You'd need to bring a book to wait for it!
Current carbon nano-tubes are only 1/4 to 1/3 the strength that they "think" is required. I'd say we have an ever further way to go.
Not to mention other major problems - forget hurricanes and storm systems, what about upper-level winds? Nothing like a 200+ mph jet-stream to cause some serious lateral forces. And ionization / lighting discharge. Lets not forget good ole high-energy particle / solar wind with upper atmosphere ionization.
Let's just hope nothing in this space elevator will conduct electricity - as a few megawatts of power during a C3+ flare could literally melt this thing apart. Let alone what may happen to the poor occupants.
And I hope to god they have good music - otherwise NOBODY is gonna make it to the top alive.
There's potential that this thing could act as a giant power generator as well.
Any conducting wire moving through a magnetic field will generate electricity. The 'stationary' elevator will be doing just that.
Heh, what will happen with all of the space junk hitting it....
the good thing about competition is that i breeds innovation.
look at the computer industry.
look at the past 'space race'. (and the lack of good development since it ended)
If this elevator gets stuck in space, how long will I have to wait for the drunk elevator repair man? I don't think I could hold my bladder that long.
cudos to the first reply
As it happens I have just finished watching the first 24 eppisodes of that show, and whilst reading the article, all i could think of was "someone has been watching too much gundam 00"
Its an interesting idea, specially if the cable and counterweight is just a "foundation" for a larger (more substantial) structure, like the idea depicted in 00, containing linear trains and tethered to a geostationary ring of solar arays, which then beam energy down to the earth via Microwaves.
Has potential, will take a while though.
[SNIP]the only lift that will take you directly to the one hundred-thousandth floor.[/SNIP]
Betcha they won't stop on the 13th
Sure they will, but they will call it 14. Doh.
If they were really trying to come up with a workable concept, I can bet the inner workings will be totally different from a conventional elevator. The issue of withstanding insane pressure when travelling upwards is a big one. I would think something along the line of an upward travelling tram, a rocket/self-powered transportation that travels along a guided path, could be a physical path.
I was waiting for someone to mention that ... that's what I was thinking when I posted it. I just don't understand how in any way this would be feasible much less conventional.
I think I saw this in an episode of ST:VOY.
Indeed: See this Star Trek Article from 2004.
Arthur C Clarke pushed this idea for years.
Whilst there is a lot of space junk, there's also a LOT of space.
You could use thrusters at the 'top' to nudge the top of the elevator so that it avoids the space debris ( everything of significant size is tracked by the US Military )
I really hope that they can finish this in my lifetime because it would be so amazing. One (possibly stupid) question though - if it was completed, but due to some unforeseen disaster, the base disintegrated, and the cable was no longer attached to the earth, would it fall down or float away?
And what are everyone's thoughts on how many thousands or millions of years it will be until we have the technology to create a Dyson Sphere? Or will it be impossible for ever?
i don't get it. there are far better things, imho, that humans can do together to further mankind (ie. like take care of each other), but it is a neat concept.
I guess getting stuck in that elevator would be ok if it was with Sarah (Yvonne Strahovski) from Chuck
If it severed near the bottom - it would likely whip out into space -- UNLESS it severed near the top, where it would lose it's counter balance and fall to earth.
So it would depend on where it got cut, and how much loading is on it. But in all likelihood, it would float out into space.