Questions tagged [space-elevator]

Questions about a hypothetical transportation system between Earth and space that would not require large rockets to transport payloads.

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Have there been any serious studies into a space elevator?

I know it would be really expensive in the short term, but has anyone actually went and figured out if it would be a good investment, even if it was something as simple as a gas line for orbital ...
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Which solar system objects could a space elevator be built on with modern tech?

Which solar system objects have the right combination of low gravity and fast spinning rate, that an object tall enough to be a space elevator could be built on with modern construction tech? By "...
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What are the elementary mechanics behind a free standing tower for a space elevator? [duplicate]

I came across a very brief article about SPACE ELEVATOR. The article was regarding a problem related to general mechanics. But the most fascinating part was that how a counterweight at the base helps ...
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What tensile strength would be needed for a lunar space elevator?

A space elevator from the Moon's equator, slightly past the L1 Lagrange point and extending into cis-lunar space would have a substantially lower tensile strength requirement than an Earth-based ...
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How much would reduce the cost of sending kgs to the moon having a 200,000 miles space elevator there?

According to this article/study A space elevator to the moon could be doable Its central element is a cable that would be anchored to the moon and span more than 200,000 miles to a point above ...
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What are the calculations for gas transport to the Moon with a pipeline?

This paper, acquired from this question about tethers on the Moon, describes LADDER, a mission to deploy a Lunar Space Elevator (LSE). The space tether, made of Zylon fiber, would be 264,000 km long,...
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Could a partial space elevator be practical and useful?

Would it be technologically and economically practical to build and operate a space elevator that only provided transport between lower and higher orbital paths? Such a mechanism would only avoid some ...
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Why isn't it possible to build a space elevator at the north pole?

Why isn't it possible to build a space elevator at the north pole? Why does it have to be built on the equator?
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Has there been any independent verification of the results from this Chinese nanotube study?

Watts up referred to the South China Morning Post in reporting that a Tsinghua University team led by Wei Fei claimed in 2018 to have manufactured carbon nanotube fibre has tensile strength of 80 ...
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Could I tie together two satellites at different altitudes?

Could I tie together two satellites at different altitudes? Is there an existing name for this? Can this be stable, or will it spin out of control? How strong of a rope will I need? For the sake ...
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How about space ziplines

I've heard of the hypothetical space elevator. But how about space ziplines. Have the idea been explored if so what are the challenges? By zipline I mean giant long cables connecting space station to ...
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“Free energy” moving the space elevator possible?

In this other question I have found the following: A space elevator can climb at a low, constant vertical speed (albeit for a very long climb), and gets its orbital speed for free [borrowed from ...
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Why can't they just drop a solar winch down from a shuttle and have planes fly up and clip things on?

Why can't they just drop a solar winch down from a shuttle and have planes fly up and clip things on? I know of the idea to have a space lift but the cable necessary is too expensive. Why can't we ...
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Inflatable Power Line?

Could the weight of a launch tower or some of a space elevator be mitigated balloons? Similar to the children's air inflated jump houses could a tower be inflated with hydrogen/helium with different ...
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Balloon Space Ladder [duplicate]

Using weather balloons pressurized to not to pop in a chain from the ground what is the highest altitude possible in a chain? You could up scale to use blimps but it is a balloon that can achieve ...
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How long would it take to ride to the top of a space elevator?

The question What is a “space elevator”? describes two key points about the length of a space elevator: equatorial geosynchronous orbit at 22,245 miles (35,800 km) above mean sea level, and an ...
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Space elevator idea

Just wondering if it would be possible to make a space tether/elevator out of looped rubber bands like that of a loom bands like the common loom band? Each time a new band is added for length, the ...
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Chinese find material to make space elevator. How much will the cable weigh?

The article China has strongest fibre that can haul 160 elephants – and a space elevator? came out today in the SCMP, and I would like to find out how much the cable would weigh. But I'm not sure if ...
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How will JAXA's space elevator-testing cubesat experiment work?

The Infobae article Japón inicia hoy el ambicioso proyecto de construir un ascensor espacial which translated from Spanish into English by Google says Japan begins today the ambitious project to ...
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Why is using a space elevator cheaper than rocket power?

Why is rocket power so much less efficient? In both cases you want to lift a given weight a certain height. What does climbing a tether give you that you don't have when using rockets? Wouldn't a ...
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What is the shape of a space elevator?

When we think of a space elevator, we might usually think of a purely vertical tower, sticking perpendicular to the surface of the Earth, extending way past the geostationary belt, to the end-mass. ...
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Which propelling device would be the most efficient for a space elevator?

There are many types of propulsion from electric turbine engines to steam powered catapults once used on aircraft carriers. Which of the many types of propulsion would be the most efficient in getting ...
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Is space elevator a reasonable idea? [duplicate]

I read today that Japan is trying to build space elevator by 2050. To me, it sounds like making a super skyscraper. There are so many challenges building skyscraper that exist today. It is an ...
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Space elevator - cord thickness - why is the strength to weight ratio a problem?

To my understanding the main problem with space elevators is that the strength to weight ratio is not high enough to support the cable's weight. Naturally the first thought that would come to mind is ...
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Why would a space elevator / structure need to be in Geosynchronous orbit?

I've read a bunch on space elevators and from what everyone is saying, it would be required that the elevator is in geosynchronous orbit. From my understanding, that is so that it would stay fixed in ...
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What about a space winch?

So there is a similar question, I read it but I am thinking a little differently. So instead of a big tower going into orbit with cables like an elevator, what if we had a satellite in orbit, ...
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How will the angular momentum of a Space Elevator be preserved?

This question has been bugging me for some time. First a little background. We know that a space elevator is essentially a (very) long rope with a heavy asteroid attached at the other end well beyond ...
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Can we make a space blimp?

OK. Hear me out. I know that blimps float because of the buoyancy of air, and there is no air in space. But think of the way a boat floats on the top of water even though the material that the boat is ...
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If a space elevator uses both compression and tension design, will we still need new materials?

We build as much of the space elevator under compression as possible and the remaining part using carbon based materials. Is this trick going to work or am I missing something?
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How do you find ZRVTOs between tethers from coplanar, tidelocked bodies?

In 1984 JPL engineer Paul Penzo described a ZRVTO (Zero Relative Velocity Transfer Orbit) between an elevator anchored on Deimos and an elevator anchored on Phobos. Here is a Penzo’s illustration: ...
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Needed height from the release of a space elevator to get a stable elliptical orbit?

As we know, something released from around 36000 km height from a space elevator will remain in geostationary orbit around the Earth. Things released from lower will go into an elliptical orbit ...
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Would reusable rockets render the idea of space elevators useless? [closed]

With the expected advances in reusable rocket technology within the next decade, will constructing a space elevator become meaningless? Or will it still be way cheaper, safer and convenient to use ...
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201 views

Can the modern space elevator design be altered so as to reduce the tensile strength requirement of the material?

Most probably, we'll be able to mass manufacture diamond nano-threads and carbon nano-tubes in the near future, but they might not be strong enough. Is there a way to significantly reduce the tensile ...
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Atmospheric effects on a space elevator

Were I able to build a space elevator (ignoring for the moment that I can't due to current material science etc), what issues would there be relating to atmospheric conditions? Presumably it would be ...
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Impact of space junk on Earth based space elevators

It is well known there is a lot a space junk orbiting the Earth. From previous questions posted on this site it appears that if it were possible to establish a space elevator cable for Earth it would ...
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Between a space elevator on Mars versus the Moon, which would have lower material strength requirement?

On one hand, the Moon has lower gravity, and the gravity from Earth also reduces the distance the it has to span. This is particularly true for EML-1, and a little less so for EML-2. I don't know if ...
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Space elevator orbit below GSO but slow enough to be caught by an airplane

I've read a space elevator at GSO 35,800 km (actually above GSO to create the needed counterweight) is not feasible due to lack of current available strength of materials. Also that a tether at low ...
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“Propeller-head” polar space elevator?

"Why isn't it possible to build a space elevator at the north pole?" made me think... Like the funny hat with a propeller on a kid's head - replace the head with Earth and propeller blades with space ...
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How to clear the way for a space elevator?

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 ...
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How would the foundation/anchor for a space elevator work?

In a perfect scenario the space elevator is in Geosynchronous Orbit, it could be suspended a papers width above an egg, the egg would never be harmed and there would always be just enough room to ...
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Would 100 miles off the equator be too much for a space elevator to have the right orbital geometry?

What about Mt. Chimborazo in Ecuador as a starting point, saving some miles, thinner atmosphere etc? It's the farthest point from Earth's center, even compared to Mt. Everest because of the bulge. Has ...
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Why does the material for space elevators have to be really strong?

If the space elevator platform (The very top) is orbiting a planet in a geosynchronous orbit, wouldn't the forces on the elevator "rope" be minimal?
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Space elevator: Is there some way you could make one to a low earth orbit?

All the current proposals for a space elevator seem to be for one to the GSO.However is there some proposal for a space elevator to a low earth orbit? I know that it would require continuous power to ...
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Would it be possible to suspend a space elevator in the stratosphere?

Having a material strong enough to support a space elevator built from the ground up seems like it may never be able to happen. I had also seen another suggestion for building a space elevator ...
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Rotovators and booster recovery: is there a free lunch here?

Rotovators have the big advantage that they don't have as much force on them as a full space elevator and thus can be constructed without such incredibly strong materials. The big downside is that ...
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What is the specific compression strength of an orbital tower structure?

Taper ratio is a central concept for space elevators and tethers. It tells how much larger the cross section of the tether has to be at one end of the tether, compared to the other. Being a ...
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How does the gravity of Earth change as you climb a space elevator?

I'm doing research for a movie. If you were in a space elevator/tower at an altitude of 250 miles, how much gravity would you experience? (I've heard various estimates of .9Gz and .65Gz) How about if ...
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Tethered geostationary orbit

One of the biggest issues that I've heard of in building a space elevator is the high tensile strength of the cord used to tether the the elevator to the ground. If there's a structure that's at ...
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Space Elevator Hurdle: Can you ground out the Van Allen belts?

Problem One of the biggest problems of a space elevator concept is that the elevator would have to be centered on the equator, and its tethers would pass through the Van Allen belts that contain super ...
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Space elevator/tower trough magnetic repulsion? What are the technical problems?

As more material weight leads to higher stress for a space elevator I have been asking myself if a kind of tower thats based on magnetic repulsion would not be an alternative. While I know that ...