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The concept of using an “elevator” to take you to travel from the Earth to space has been around for quite some time now, with the beginning of the term, for the first time introduced in 1959 by the Russian engineer Yuri Artsutanov. But for now, that’s seemingly far-fetched idea has become a reality.
The idea is relatively simple: a cable is strained by a satellite counterweight above geosynchronous orbit, where it is attached to a floating anchor, railway station is on the equator. The cord is in a position to stand on its own due to the centrifugal force, which causes a vehicle to travel along the cable, straight from the Earth-to-space.
NASA and space agencies in Japan and China have been working on this version of the space elevator, for a number of years. The Obayashi Corporation, has promised to have it up and running by the year 2050, with an estimated cost of $90 billion.
(Credit: LiftPort Group, Dr .. Nyein Aung)
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Recently, a non-peer-reviewed study by the Zephyr Penoyre, of the University of Cambridge by Emily Sandford on the campus of Columbia University, in theory, is that it’s not just an “elevator” to the moon is possible, but it can be built with the help of the current material. The idea takes a different approach than that of NASA and other space agencies.
In contrast to the cable stretching skyward, anchored off of the ground, the cable is introduced in the study will be conducted from the moon-down in the direction of the planet, is coming to an end, and the end to the Earth in geosynchronous orbit, 22,236 miles above the earth’s surface. It could be the cable is out of the danger zone to a lower orbit, where it can be taken from satellites or space debris. The pencil-thin cord, as it would be constructed of carbon, polymer, and depended on, the earth’s moon. The cost is estimated to be in the billions of dollars.
“[The study] shows that there are really be legit,” Michael Laine, founder of LiftPort Group, told Fox News. “It would seem that they are independent of each other, invented the lunar space elevator. We were there at first, but it’s really nice to have someone in charge that is nothing to our kind of business, do the math, figure it out and say, ” Yes, that’s a real thing.'”
From 2001 to 2003, Laine worked with NASA’s Institute for Advanced Concepts (NIAC) research team for an Earth elevator concept, which is the more traditional concept of the space elevator.
“In math, the Earth, the elevator, the concept of the models is very good,” Laine added. “The problem is that in the real world, there are still a lot of problems with it.”
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One issue that is the subject matter of the cord. Any material that would stretch from the Earth to the vicinity of the moon (Obayashi’s code of cable, it measures more than 60,000 miles, it would have to be incredibly strong. Carbon nanotubes, extremely thin, hollow tubes of carbon that are 100 times stronger than steel, it might do the trick, but the technology is not yet ready to go as long as you have enough.
The other problem is avoiding all the space junk, which is now being exacerbated by the rapidly climbing number of satellites.
“When the [iac / NIAC Principle Investigator], Dr. Bradley Edwards, and I am doing this work for close to 20 years ago, there were only about 350 total on the satellite,” Laine explains. “We have about 1,500 satellites, and 400 were launched last year alone, and we are moving towards a world where 17,000 of satellites, most of them are in a Low orbit around the Earth. So, the idea of having a string, and avoidance of over 17,000 objects is a real challenge. I’m not sure that it does not work any more.”
A couple of years ago, Laine and Tacoma, Wash.-based company has moved away from working with the Earth, a lift and work on the moon model. In the LiftPort concept, astronauts would have to start from the ground up to the bottom track. As soon as they get to a lower position, which is a through-space transmission of a vehicle, or” space tug” that would be a trip of a lower shell of the Lagrange point 1 (or L1), which is close to the full moon.
“We are L1, we can let the string down on to the surface of the moon, we can drill and continue to be so, is to be firmly anchored in the surface of the moon,” Laine said. “Then we’ll unspool that string is to be returned to Earth — and it’s about two-thirds of the distance of the Earth from the moon.”
He points out that there is a big gap between the end of the LiftPort-the elevator, a cord, that is to the club and the Ground.
“We have a balance in our system, the mathematical model (used in the recent study] did not have a balance,” he said.
According to Laine, was the first version of LiftPort’s lunar elevator would probably cost as much as $800 million, and it would have to be built in seven to twelve years of age. He added that the benefits of having a lunar elevator is enormous, both financially and scientifically.
“There’s been a lot of talk about mining lunar resources,” he said. “Some people are going to be off, the setting of the moon in the ice and make rocket fuel. Other people will be going to the Moon, mine for minerals, which we use as building blocks to create a larger space station at the L1 point.”
A larger space station would then be possible for the astronauts to have a ship and a docking system. Laine offers less to a point, where the new ships are being built that will never see the Earth, and it can be used to travel to asteroids or to other planets.
“If you’ve got it built, and that’s where it gets interesting, because it is the foundation for everything else.”
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