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Sunday, July 5, 2015

Lunar Space Elevator

A space elevator will likely never be implemented in our lifetime on Earth. Space junk, material sciences, and general liability will all prohibit it from being a feasible system using any of the methods proposed thus far.

However, the space elevator is still incredibly viable in other locations. Small moons and large asteroids which have gravity but no atmosphere or space trash are ideal for space elevators. Since a space elevator can run off of electricity and is not limited by refueling or controlling explosions, it is far more reliable as a method of shipping items to and from orbit around a body.

The body most ideal for the first true space elevator will likely be the Moon. The Moon is a clean, fresh, low gravity environment which will undoubtedly be the base of most commercial mining and transport, due to its proximity to Earth and content of materials like Helium-3 and even water ice. The Moon will also possibly act as a spaceport to asteroid mining operations and even Mars colonization.

While rockets can be launched from the Moon easily they are still using consumable fuels. The need to use materials and weight to get something from the surface to orbit or vice versa is a waste. Rockets also break down easily, and are limited to a frequency of travel based on refueling operations and repairs. A space elevator has the potential to run off a clear view of the sun, is a simple machine compared to a rocket and is able to work 24-7 going up and down. Not to mention the fact that it is a fixed point of operations. It will always be in the same place ensuring there is no danger of missing a landing pad and hitting a habitat.

The construction of a space elevator is not as simple as just landing rockets however. The basic idea is to anchor a cable to the surface of the moon. That cable is then strung, from the surface, several thousand miles to a weight. This weight keeps the cable tight. It is similar to if you held a string with a ball on the end and then spun around. An elevator car can then run along the cable to and from orbit. All of this is possible with the materials available today. And while the set-up is risky and stringing several thousand miles of cable straight up from the Moon will be expensive, once established the elevator has little potential for problems afterward. And the cost to operate such a structure would be fixed over its lifetime just as the railroads are.

The economic benefits of a space elevator, once built on the Moon are enormous. Landing of scientific payloads would be faster and more reliable, since organizations would not have to develop landers, unless exploring other areas of the Moon. The elevator would allow for the creation of a space dock. This would be an area were spaceships would stop to unload and refuel while passengers and materials are moved to and from the Moon by the elevator.

Essentially the group that owns the elevator would own the only bridge to the Moon. It would be in the same situation as the early railroads. A colony would grow around it and all commerce would move through it. An important consideration when finding a location for such a structure.

As a business it could begin by simply offering transport to the surface at a reduced cost and increased reliability to building a lander. But as time goes on it could just be a toll elevator. A fixed cost transport one direction or the other, though seasonal costs will likely be a factor.

The business danger to this system is similar to the railroads. If it doesn't run there is still the fixed costs of  maintaining the system. Though we would hazard a guess that those costs would be minimal. Since the elevator comes into contact with nothing other than the vacuum of space environmental wear will be low. If used heavily enough it will require component maintenance but when that occurs the business will still be cash flow positive.

If the elevator were built tomorrow the real business challenge would be paying off the upfront construction cost in a timely manner while the industry catches up. Lunar mining will likely be the best solution since it can be performed autonomously and continuously. LiftPort is going this direction.

LiftPort is moving to build a lunar space elevator by 2020. The organization raised $100,000 on Kickstarter in 2014 to continue development of their design. They are intending to use a kevlar ribbon as the main cable of the elevator, which is the most vital and difficult component of the system. The elevator is meant cart lunar samples into orbit.

At this point LiftPort hasn't stated what the cost of construction would be. Though with possible launch costs and material cost it will undoubtedly be in the fractions of billions of dollars. If they succeed they will set a valuable precedent about the feasibility of the technology.

The space elevator continually appears in media as a technology to replace rockets on Earth. Unfortunately, there are just to many practical problems with such devices on our planet at this time. But space elevators are a very good idea in the correct areas. They are easy to operate, once built, and do replace rocket technologies with something more reliable. And while we have said many technologies will be valuable as businesses in the private space industry, lunar space elevators will likely be the most likely to succeed. Their superiority to conventional space transport is unrivaled from a technological and business standpoint. If a space elevator is built on the Moon those who own it will control much of the industry in that area. No one will swim a river when they can cross a bridge.

For more detailed information of space elevators see this NASA report on the technology:
The Space Elevator by Bradley Edwards Ph.D.





13 comments:

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  2. That is really good..I like it.... http://samacharlive.com/worlds-first-space-elevator-to-be-20-times-taller-than-burj-khalifa/

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  3. Tutankhamun said: ..."with exponential Progress³ of Science and Technology, in the Future things will come wich now not can even imagine"... 3d bioprinting = Immortality = go to stars

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  4. [b░]°◄°═▀▀o⌂░░50m░░1░░▬█▓║▓50m▓║▓2▓║▓☼▓½╠╬╬50m╬╬╬3╬╣______...space-elevator (orbital-station balloon)... a sand´s transport, Provisional Carrier Tube (PCT), such as an huge hypodermic syringe, with SQUARE TRANSVERSAL SECTIONS both Tubes that PCT has: a Piston-Interior-Tube "with" approx. 100 mts total...and an EXTERIOR-TUBE "with" 150 mts*2 mts of side wide, divided into 3 sections with 50 mts each one... SECTION-1 (front): useful SAND´S CHARGE, by where the PISTON goes climbing, with its solids HEAD ▬█adjusted to the 4 inside walls, sliding with longitudinal movement along, ←░SHOVING THE SAND...e.g. approx. sizes Piston´s WIDES, if exterior-tube wall´s thickness has 0.01 mts: Head mts without▬ = 0.2*1.98; the ½ highest Piston´s remainder length, 49.8 mts, has some less of side wide, only 1.58 mts, than its head, for going sliding over long roller-bearings-e.g.-mts-sizes = 1.50*0.2, installed between Piston and walls, roller-bearings are only into section-2; section-1 it is empty for receiving sand; and section-3 it is empty for receiving the end ½ Piston´s rear part with cog-zippers, other 50 mts, rear part who has even less side wide than Piston´s highest part (for example instead of 1.58 mts, only 1.2 mts) for do NOT TOUCHING AMONG the linear motion-less ROLLER-BEARINGS AND the COG-ZIPPERS when these go upwards or downwards by the section-2... SECTION-2 (middle): Piston´s house when its is all down, only into this section there are ROLLER║BEARINGS sand´s protected on the 4 inside walls for easy PISTON´S MOVEMENT and GUIDING. At bottom´s outsides it is the POWER´s ZONE ☼ with 4 ELECTRICAL MOTORS on outside walls installed and firmly fixed... SECTION-3 (rear): only for covering the Piston´s lowest part when it is all DOWN, PISTON that has the COG-ZIPPERS ╠╬╬╬╣ on their 4 sides all along...GEARING here the COGWHEELS ☼ of the very thickness, resistant and GYRATING TRANSMISSION´s AXES...having each axis both extremes firmly fixed into BEARINGS on both opposite walls of the Exterior-Tube...POWER that comes from outside, powered each axis for each powerful ELECTRICAL MOTOR through its MOTOR´s DE-MULTIPLICATION BOX... A hyperspeed Maglev Train... Instead of an Asteroid could be an artificial Orbital-Station with sufficient mass, for example with adequate sizes, an inox Cylindrical-Tank, or a huge, once deployed with gas pressure from its little carry container, Cylindrical Mesh and within a resistant graphene´s Inflatable Balloon (once deployed leave again with the spatial-empty inside)...full of SAND sent from the equatorial Desert, where the Space-Elevators are installed, into 2 PCT (while one go up, the other go down) with various hooks Tube´s along, so the PCT is always parallel to cable. 1 PCT attached at each cable of the System Pulley´s "clothesline" (4 Pulleys: 2 on Earth and 2 UNDER Orbital-Station separated "20 mts" between both, in each installation). System wich is parallel installed by outside next to the main Central Track still without Train...

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  5. (2)...space-elevator (orbital-station balloon)... the Exterior-Tube has minor side´s wide at its highest part, NOSE═▀▀, this part with length some major than distance from Balloon till its protector anti-collision end-buffer ⌂ and so (nose) it can climb passing over and beyond the end-buffer and the very near top-Pulley: o, installed under Orbital-Station; when the PCT arrives over there... The PCT climbs until ENTERING its ═(NOSE) Cylindrical Extreme´s Part; (((wich together to the also cylindrical solids: central projection from the ▬Piston´s head, and the gyration axes; it is the unique hollow cylindrical tube that there are in all PCT´s main structure, LENGTH of this ═cylinder (NOSE): SOME MAJOR than the high, distance from base to base, of "nozzle" FOR ENTERING THE SAND till WITHIN of the BALLOON))); INTO ◄←═ROOMY GUIDE´s trunk-conical structure (shape such as a rocket´s nozzle) roomy only in its major base for entrance´s guide. PCT can having some little maneuver´s rockets commanded from Earth-Station, for is it necessary to stop a possible gyration cable´s around, before of connecting with "NOZZLE". Also, instead of Pulleys with 1 single cable, could are wide-Pulleys multi-cable for having with 2 or more cables separated among them, some of stability anti-gyration. Under the flexible Balloon both "nozzles" are installed in a Balloon´s rigid surface, such as a tetra-brick´s cap, (this can coming with hinges folded in two parts for after be deployed and firmly fixed straight with resistan rafters) rigid surface with, how minimum, the same length that must have between both "nozzles"... PCT now goes climbing and shoves for opening Balloon´s circular door°, and the Piston is already shoving sand with a pressure for first opening the PCT top own °═nose´s circular door and after goes ←░INJECTING THE SAND into the Orbital Balloon. Once are finished, the Piston-Interior-Tube returns again going until the bottom inside the already empty Exterior-Tube and pulling closes the Balloon´s circular door° for no exiting sand. Then the already light and sand´s empty PCT starts separating and closes again for traveling its top own °═nose´s circular door, and continues going down towards Earth for a new sand´s charge...crossing at halfway with the other PCT who goes CLIMBING SAND AGAIN towards Balloon... Maintaining orbital geostationary parameters if is it necessary, firing a rocket provisionally installed... Once totally full of sand the Orbital-Tank, the 2 PCT tubes of sand´s charge are dismantled on Earth, remaining the System Pulleys "clothesline" next to Central Track by outside, for now installing 1 normal space-elevator in each cable for Station´s service. Before are separated already, on up and down installations, the 2 Pulleys till "50 mts" between both for have security when... Train comes like a lightning to 5,000 kms/hour crossing between the space-elevators... Entering now from Earth-Station the Maglev Train on its already free Central Track... If Train could be soon installed, it could be used as Sand´s Carrier Train and with its Hyperspeed accelerating the act of sand´s filling Balloon... Orbital-Station placed in adequate higher orbit than exact geostationary orbit, for maintaining with enough centrifugal force tense the Track without needing on a higher orbit a counterweight.

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  7. ...fly to the Moon only in a rocket. Do not is possible make a Station hanging Moon´s below that entering in Earth´s Atmosphere because then...due to rotation´s speed of Earth, approx. 1666 kms/h, this huge supersonic wind speed would does impossible embarking on Station.

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  8. ...space-elevator (orbital station bike wheel-1g)... geostationary orbit, a huge "bike-wheel" is gyrating around its own axis for have 1g-centrifugal. Wheel held in place with 4 CABLES FORMING THE STRUCTURE OF A RHOMBUS♦ (minor diagonal of the rhombus is the axis of gyration of the Station-Wheel)...rhombus´s below, the carbon nanotubes Track towards Earth...rhombus´s above, the cable towards the higher counterweight...if...WHEEL´S RADIUS = 250 mts...Axis´s length gyration of the Wheel = rhombus´s minor diagonal = Wheel´s radius = 250 mts... Cable´s length of the rhombus´s side = diameter of the Wheel = 500 mts. Wheel´s ZONE-1g: habitable length = 1571 mts, gyrating 360º each 32 seconds, angular-speed = 11.25º/sec, linear-speed = 177 kms/h... Station-Wheel´s GYRATION: AXIS IN PERPENDICULAR (90º) ORIENTATION TO THE ORBITAL TRAJECTORY ...and so, while Station-Wheel follows the geostationary orbit, the Wheel does not changes the spatial-orientation of its axis, and thus there are Not forces of Precession actuating (and thus there is Not collision tendency of the Station-Wheel against the rhombus´s cables...but the system must supporting lateral charges against Track produced by the Coriolis effect when Train goes upwards or downwards...), the gyroscopic-rigidity contributes for maintaining forever the gyration-axis perpendicular to orbital trajectory... When the Maglev Train arrives slowly, using now their retractable cogwheels by the Zipper-Track (installed in the same Maglev-Track), Train stops in Geo 0g-Station placed over one extreme of the gyration axis... Passengers disembark and they take now the interior-elevator of one of the Wheel´s hollow-radius, and "descend" till Hotel into the final Zone-1g...where while Station-Wheel goes turning there are Earth´s awesome views...

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  10. (2)...space-elevator (orbital station ramp)... Tour continuing again... THE TRAIN DEPARTS►... once passed the slow track on rhombus structure, enters again on fast main Track... km 50,630, braking: Moon-Launching-Point, Train is at zero-speed, rear SHIP-COACH is released staying alone, again... THE TRAIN DEPARTS►... (((SHIP-COACH, while Earth turns, awaits patient the hour for releasing from Track and going to Moon with exact heading...now...takeoff and goes transferring orbits till Moon orbit where firing rocket again, brakes and lands on Moon☺Station... "Come to occult face with us and visiting the ancient Alien in ruins city"...and once recharged with fuel and passengers...equal than aircraft carrier, from a Launching-Catapult...SHIP-COACH TAKEOFF►... and returns conventionally to Earth)))... Already enough near from Terminal (magnetic shield anti-radiation and UV rays protection)...slowly by zipper-track train´s cogwheels are braking strongly "downhill"... 23 hours: Train is horizontal on Terminal at zero-speed, near from ship´s launching-ramp towards Jupiter/interstellar Space, in spectacular and covered by transparent graphene´s domes with Earth views always in the ceiling, the passengers disembark at destination: counterweight centrifuge Ramp 0.08g-Station.

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  11. ☼↓↓▓0.08g▬▬▬←▬▬▬▬▬↓☺▬▬♦1g▬→▬▬1g...Space-elevator (orbital station ramp)... Faraway high beyond Earth surface at 150,000 kms...fast orbital speed 11.4 kms/sec...with only 0.08g centrifugal, 0.8 mts/sec² (a person that has 80 kgs gravitational force ↓ on Earth equator radius=6378.1 kms; over there with a radius=156378.1 kms only has 6.64 kgs centrifugal force ↑)...could be the counterweight Terminal Orbital Station-Ramp... Awaits passengers in Earth-Station a hyperspeed vertical electric Train of Magnetic Levitation... "Spatial Train coming from Orbital Station-Ramp and Orbital Station-Wheel at these moments arriving will depart again after one hour, passengers with Moon destination please embark on SHIP-COACH when will be hooked at Train´s end"...medium-speed = 5,000 kms/hour: Earth/Orbital Station-Wheel, distance = 35,786 kms...total travel time = 7 hours... Orbital Station-Wheel/Orbital Station-Ramp, distance = 114,214 kms...total travel time = 23 hours... Well seized from retractable cogwheels, with slow-speed at the beginning travel of strong gravitation from Earth, with conventional Zipper-Track... THE TRAIN DEPARTS►... "Passengers please belts"...starting horizontal from Station, when train goes climbing is VERTICAL, looking upwards...vertical-train with special zig-zag corridor with protections and seats also in the center for avoiding passenger´s fall down in straight line till coach´s bottom... Already enough far, with little gravitational Earth attraction: MAGLEV on...Cogwheels off... Here we go...goooooo!...hyperspeed→... Already braking enough near from each Station...slow-speed, changes propulsion system again: COGWHEELS on...Maglev off... Entering in slow-track on rhombus structure... 7 hours: half length above half length below through Station´s floor, Train is on rhombus inclined track at zero-speed, near from Water-Recycling Plant with carbon nanotube´s filters...and the other Air-Filtering Plant with catalysts...the passengers disembark in weightlessness: Geo 0g-Station...passing from static-platform to gyratory circular corridor, go taking soon an interior-elevator in one of the hollows-radius and "descending"...finally, the passengers have arrived at destination: Wheel centrifuge 1g-Station, with its gyration´s-axis perpendicular to orbital trajectory... A Wheel with 500 mts diameter, 1g-habitable length 1571 mts*50 mts wide*50 mts height...gyrating into 4 cables, two of them with a track for Train, a rhombus structure forming for Wheel´s supporting...

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    1. ...if...Train´s mass=1000 Tm and its vertical max-speed=10000 kms/h...←LATERALS→, ↓ to East and ↑ to West, Coriolis´s effect against Track: acceleration=0.4 mts/sec², FORCE=41 Tm...this lateral thrust→ must be counteracted ←in opposite direction with an equal thrust from "some class" of Lateral thrust Train´s outside...or, without it, permitting Track´s lateral-movements, having then the Orbital Station-Wheel supported into Subjection´s Cardan-Joint, and so with free Precession´s Wheel-movements, to sufficient distance from Rhombus´s Cables...and then would have that "jumping" that little distance towards/from Wheel axis´s-extreme in a spacecraft.

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  12. ...interplanetary travel (to the asteroid of the end of the world)... asteroid Toutatis...how to move a mass of 40,000 million Tm?. Obviously the chemical rockets they are not able. Only a few nuclear charges will be enough for gives it the shove. At Space, on having not air, there is not expansive wave. Only will arrive to it the radiations, gamma rays, etc, which volatilize the impact surface of those radiations and eject the superficial material as a jet propulsion. Subterranean nuclear charge: destruction of the asteroid. Nuclear charge very near from surface: deflection of the asteroid. If asteroid it is small, as DA-14, perhaps being enough with a single nuclear charge...or less drastic for give thrust them: installing on asteroid a nuclear electric generator. A spatial-catapult, as the aircraft´s carrier deck but with a linear electric motor, some over rails tip cars, or fastened to an endless belt, launching rocks and/or plastic bags filled with ground... A spatial-sling, a revolving tube at high revolutions, rocks entering by the gyration axis and go out by the tube sent away at big speed towards the Space... Thrust by action/reaction for deflecting it with time... If asteroid it is large, as Toutatis, probably would be necessary a few stepped nuclear charges for moving it. War ballistic missiles that there are, they are not useful (are designed for go away from continent to continent...by inhuman nationalist warriors without future: "their" Nation, "their" Flag, "their" Anthem, "their" Land, "their" Frontiers, "their" Language... World´s around...come on Everybody...♫...No More Wars...No More Nations...No More Frontiers...♫...)... Only can be useful a rocket that can to put the charge at interplanetary orbit, as the multi-phase which put satellites in geostationary orbit (is necessary have them already prepared in a Spatial-Command with all the nuclear weapons thet there are in the World controlled and preserved by a Planetary Organism, only for that)...("Doomsday Asteroid": W. Cox and H. Chestek). Not only will can deflecting them from their trajectories of collision wit Earth, but besides...they will be placed in geostationary orbit (DANGER: END OF THE WORLD IF ASTEROID COLLISIONS WITH EARTH...), for to exploit their wealth of minerals, oxygen, nitrogen for the air and agriculture of Vital Support Gardens, etc... They will be utilized as ships, for to travel in them to the Solar System boundaries...as a "buses" fleet, going over there in one and if want to return or go away to other direction awaits the approaching of suitable asteroid to transferring... Drilling asteroids by the center, such as a gyratory without bone olive with 1g centrifugal, with a fusion reactor in the center which it will give the light and heat as an artificial sun... At to look over there at high...will see to those other cities, rivers, cars, buildings..."downwards head"...

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