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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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2
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3answers
578 views

Could pull from a space elevator be used to assist a rocket launch?

Well, more specifically, using a counterweight like you'd find in a non-space elevator to give the rocket a little acceleration before firing up and spending all that fuel-to-lift-the-fuel-to-lift-the-...
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5answers
9k views

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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4answers
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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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1answer
416 views

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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1answer
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What's the path of something dropped from a space elevator

What sort of paths would payloads follow after being released from a space elevator such as the one described in Clarke's Fountains of Paradise?
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3answers
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Space Elevator Between Doubly-Tidally Locked Bodies

Space elevators may be a reality only in the future, but I know we have the basic principles down pat. Something has been bugging me, though. If we had the proper materials, we could build such an ...
33
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5answers
6k views

If we build a space elevator from Earth surface to GEO, could I step off it at GEO and remain in GEO?

Ignore for a moment the question of whether building such a space elevator is practical. Let's also ignore the minute delta-v involved in "stepping off" something in orbit. If we were to build a ...
5
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2answers
963 views

Standing at the top of a space elevator would 'up' be towards the Earth?

If I rode a space elevator to the top, assuming only natural forces apply, would the Earth be over my head or under my feet? If it was over my head how is that possible?
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2answers
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Where could we build a space elevator today (2014)?

A space elevator is an interesting concept, allowing for very low cost transit to orbit. Currently we don't seem to have a technology that will provide a strong enough cable to make the climb from ...
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2answers
3k views

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 ...
14
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4answers
2k views

What is a "space elevator"?

I've seen an hypothetical "Space elevator" referenced in various media the last couple of years. Is this something thats really planned in the making, or just a hypothetical scenario? How will a space ...
13
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3answers
942 views

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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2answers
927 views

Can a "free launch" from a space elevator really be free?

The question Benefit of sling shot effect with a space elevator implies that you can get free $\Delta V$ from a space elevator launch. As highlighted in this answer on SciFi quoting Sheffield book "...
11
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2answers
471 views

Is it feasible to pump fuel into orbit?

Imagine a huge fuel depot in geostationary orbit. Suppose further that it is tethered to the Earth and that there's a large hose snaking down all the way. Is it feasible to pump fuel up 35,786km? Can ...
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2answers
880 views

Benefit of sling shot effect with a space elevator

The upper end of a space elevator is moving considerably faster than orbital speed at that distance from Earth. As a result anything released from the top of elevator would get thrown away from the ...
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2answers
271 views

Could a skyhook be used to remove space junk?

Is it possible to remove the space junk having orbital velocity with the help of a skyhook? Has any country in the world planned to place a skyhook in orbit?
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3answers
3k views

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 ...
31
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3answers
2k views

What technological barriers do we need to overcome to build a space elevator?

The concept of a space elevator unfortunately still seems like one confined to fiction, at least for now. However, I've heard some sources claim that carbon nanotubes could be the first material ...

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