Space elevator

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Space elevator

Space elevator

What is a Space elevator?

A space elevator is a transportation in a form of an elevator for the purpose of allowing massive amount of people reaching space in a few days. This process will save lots of energy as it is said that it will be done by 2050. The basic concept of the space elevator is not so different from how the original elevator works like. There is a cable which the climber will move according to the path, however an additional part called the counterweight is involved in order to stabilize the entire elevator. The elevator orbits with the along with Earth as the center of the mass of the system is located slightly above the geostationary orbit altitude.

How does the Space elevator work?

The very first and important step is creating the cable (ribbon) that is flexible and dense more than any material that exists on earth. So far, the possible material that could be used is called the carbon nanotubes which is 100 times stronger/dense than steel and more flexible than plastic. Other than this, pieces that are used for the elevator can be constructed according to our current technology which includes, robotic lifter, anchor station and power beam system. Lifter has the purpose of going up and down the elevator by using the cable guide. Anchor Station will have the platform in the equatorial Pacific while attaching the cable to Earth. Another new factor is the counterweight which is used to help the cable remain straight as the Earth orbits.

Why do we build a Space elevator?

Is it possible to make a Space elevator?

The main reason behind the purpose of space elevator is the efficiency. Instead of sending a spaceship to space while burning tons of fuel, space elevator can reduce the energy used. The cost is of course expensive but not as much as most people would expect it to be. The cost can change from $20000 to $500 per kilogram of space elevator. In the future, people can freely go back and forth using the technology within a week and this indicates further and fast development regarding space.

Even though there are technologies ready for the space elevator, there are some parts where the possibility of space elevator decreases. One question is how the counterweight is going to be carried all the way up until space. With our current technology, it is close to impossible but there might be advancements in the near future which is allow this to happen. Another fact is that the material used for the cable (Carbon Nanotubes) has to have a length of one fourth of the distance between the Earth and moon. However, the maximum length which humans can create is 30 centimeters long. Specialist say that space elevator will become reality by the time it reaches 2050 but other technology that are more efficient and cheaper than space elevator might be found so the space elevator can be created someday but the possibility of it becoming reality still remains unknown.


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