Views: 16226|Replies: 25

Space Elevator....Fiction or Reality? [Copy link] 中文

Rank: 8Rank: 8

Post time 2008-7-22 07:03:27 |Display all floors
What is the cheapest way to reach heaven?....alive!........

If I tell you...by an elevator.... would you be surprised?


Fiction or reality?:)....your comments please!  

Use magic tools Report

Rank: 8Rank: 8

Post time 2008-7-22 07:07:14 |Display all floors
Source:http://www.space.com/businesstec ... vator_020327-1.html



The Space Elevator Comes Closer to Reality

By Leonard David
Senior Space Writer
posted: 07:00 am ET
27 March 2002



ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO -- Make way for the ultimate high-rise project: the space elevator. Long viewed as science fiction "imagineering", researchers are gathering momentum in their pursuit to propel this uplifting concept into actuality.

Still, the mental picture needed to grasp the elevator to space idea…well, you can't be weak of mind.

Forget the roar of rocketry and those bone jarring liftoffs, the elevator would be a smooth 62,000-mile (100,000-kilometer) ride up a long cable. Payloads can shimmy up the Earth-to-space cable, experiencing no large launch forces, slowly climbing from one atmosphere to a vacuum.

Earth orbit, the Moon, Mars, Venus, the asteroids and beyond - they are routinely accessible via the space elevator. And for all its promise and grandeur, this mega-project is made practical by the tiniest of technologies - carbon nanotubes.

Seen as an engineering undertaking for the opening decades of the 21st century, the space elevator proposal was highlighted here during the 2002 Space and Robotics Conferences, held March 17-21, and sponsored by the Aerospace Division of the American Society of Civil Engineers.




       

Use magic tools Report

Rank: 8Rank: 8

Post time 2008-7-22 07:09:30 |Display all floors
v_space_elevator2_0203_02.jpg

Use magic tools Report

Rank: 8Rank: 8

Post time 2008-7-22 07:10:37 |Display all floors
For a space elevator to function, a cable with one end attached to the Earth's surface stretches upwards, reaching beyond geosynchronous orbit, at 21,700 miles (35,000-kilometer altitude).


Use magic tools Report

Rank: 8Rank: 8

Post time 2008-7-22 07:13:05 |Display all floors
Edwards told SPACE.com that he's been wrapped up in space elevator work for some three years, supported by grants from NASA's Institute for Advanced Concepts (NIAC) program. "I'm convinced that the space elevator is practical and doable. In 12 years, we could be launching tons of payload every three days, at just a little over a couple hundred dollars a pound," he said.

"In 15 years we could have a dozen cables running full steam putting 50 tons in space every day for even less, including upper middle class individuals wanting a joyride into space. Now I just need the $5 billion, Edwards added.


Use magic tools Report

Rank: 8Rank: 8

Post time 2008-7-22 07:13:57 |Display all floors
Putting physics aside the toughest challenge has been finding a super-strong cable material. "That's what has kept this idea in science fiction for 40 years," Edwards said. But the right stuff in terms of cable material is no longer thought of as "unobtainium", he said.

The answer is carbon-nanotube-composite ribbon. Small fibers of the material are set down side-by-side, then interconnected to form a growing ribbon.


Use magic tools Report

Rank: 8Rank: 8

Post time 2008-7-22 07:14:54 |Display all floors
Stronger than steel

The hurdle to date, Edwards said, has been the commercial fabrication of carbon nanotubes. Both U.S. and Japanese firms, among others, are ramping up production of carbon nanotubes, with tons of this now exotic matter soon to be available. "That quantity of material is going to be around well before five years time. It's not going to take long," he said.

Given the far stronger-than-steel ribbon of carbon nanotubes, a space elevator could be up within a decade. "There's no real serious stumbling block to this," Edwards explained.

"The making of carbon nanotubes is moving very quick," said Hayam Benaroya, a professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Rutgers in Piscataway, New Jersey. "We're moving from the scientific stage of just developing them to actual commercial entities producing them in ton-like quantities," he said.

"erhaps within our lifetimes we might actually see real designs of skyhooks and space tethers, these kinds of things. They may be feasible at reasonable cost," Benaroya said.

Use magic tools Report

You can't reply post until you log in Log in | register

BACK TO THE TOP
Contact us:Tel: (86)010-84883548, Email: blog@chinadaily.com.cn
Blog announcement:| We reserve the right, and you authorize us, to use content, including words, photos and videos, which you provide to our blog
platform, for non-profit purposes on China Daily media, comprising newspaper, website, iPad and other social media accounts.