story of Jack and the Beanstalk is starting to sound more and more plausible every
day. A huge, tall structure comes out of the ground and goes straight up through
the clouds; at the end is a wonderful, mysterious castle. Experts agree that the
biggest drain of energy takes place when a vehicle blasts off, pushing through
Earth's gravitational pull requires great amounts of fuel, but once they get out
of our atmosphere, the rest is easy. If you could cut out that "blast off"
portion, space travel would be easier and much more fuel-efficient. In a Space
Elevator scenario, a Maglev vehicle would zoom up the side of an exceedingly tall
structure and end up at a transfer point where they'd then board a craft to the
Moon, Mars, or any other distant destination. If it all sounds like too much science
fiction, take a look at the requirements for making the Space Elevator a reality.
A new material has been developed, however, called carbon nanotubes, that is 100
times as strong as steel but with only a fraction of the weight. A carbon nanotube
is an idea that makes this all sound much more achievable.
In this concept, which is very fuel efficient and which brings space tourism closer
common man uses the newly added concept of nanotubes to light.
FACED BY SPACE ELEVATOR
major challenges faced for bringing this concept to light are
Lightening, clouds, winds. Historic data maps shows lightening occurs a land masses
,less on mountains and least along equator, further experimental cables don't
attract lightening ,winds aren't a factor since it is capable of withstanding
wind spend of 71m/hr and hurricanes not a problem since they form and travel outside
the equatorial region.
Impact or Collision
Big issues requiring more study .Debris is monitored using radar. Stud between
Debris and meteors indicate space debris to be more hazardous .It must be noted
number of impacts on ribbon, not as important as degradation cost due to impact.
Fiber health focuses on three things, dose, dimension and durability .The bigger
ones can't be integrated and smaller ones appear to dissolve quickly.
LOW EARTH ORBIT CONCEPT
The LEO space elevator is an intermediate version
of the Earth surface to GEO space elevator concept, and appears to be feasible
today using existing high-strength materials and space technology. It works by
placing the system's midpoint station, and center of gravity, in a relatively
low-Earth orbit and extending one cable down so that it points toward the center
of the Earth and a second cable up so that it points away from the Earth. The
bottom end of the lower cable hangs down to just above the Earth's atmosphere
such that a future space plane flying up from the Earth's surface would require
2.5 km/sec less change in velocity than a single-stage-to-orbit (SSTO) vehicle
launched directly to LEO. The space plane and LEO space elevator combination would
likely be able to carry 10 to 12 times the payload as an equivalent-sized SSTO
launch vehicle without the LEO space elevator. The length of the upper cable is
chosen so that its endpoint is traveling at slightly less than Earth escape velocity
for its altitude. This is done so that a spacecraft headed for higher orbit, the
Moon, or beyond, can be placed in the proper orbit with only minimal use of its
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