In the answer to this question about space elevators, the poster mentioned that the elevator cable would pass through a debris cloud as it moved through lower orbits. I presume most of that material is "space junk", but some of it must be functioning satellites. If we were to discover technology that enabled us to build a space elevator tomorrow, how would we clear a place for it to go?

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    $\begingroup$ Moving all satellites to semi-synchronous orbits would work - orbits that pass over a specific point of Earth every n periods, n being an integer and not excessively large (say, under 10,000). That way given satellite also misses a certain set of points always. $\endgroup$
    – SF.
    Feb 7, 2017 at 18:59
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    $\begingroup$ I'd imagine the elevator cable would have active thrusters to move a few kilometers in one direction or the other. Even after clearing orbit, there's still natural debris (meteoroid etc.) to avoid. $\endgroup$
    – ceejayoz
    Feb 23, 2017 at 2:26


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