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Space Elevator

Dare to think for mankind

An Advanced Earth-Space Infrastructure for the New Millennium. A space elevator is a physical connection from the surface of the Earth to a geostationary Earth orbit (GEO) above the  Earth ≈35,786 km in altitude. Its center of mass is at the  geostationary point such that it has a 24-hr orbit and stays over the same point above the equator as the Earth rotates on its axis. The vision is that a space elevator would be utilized as a transportation and utility system for moving people, payloads, power, and gases between the surface of the Earth and space.

Space Elevator Concepts

A baseline concept for a space elevator was created during the workshop to illustrate its purpose, scale, and complexity. It is literally a mass transportation system equivalent to a highway, railway , pipeline, and power line that connects our planet to the space frontier. This space elevator is envisioned to emerge from a platform at sea .The platform works like a seaport where cargo and passengers make their transfers from terrestrial transportation systems to the space elevator vehicles.

Material will be used

Carbon Nanotube , Can be thought of as a sheet of graphite (a hexagonal lattice of carbon) rolled into a cylinder.It is Having Young’s modulus is over 1 Tera Pascal. Strength is  100x that of steel at 1/6 the weight (estimated tensile strength is 200 Giga Pascal).

 

 

chart

Categories of CNTs

 

characterized by formation of nanotubes within nanotubes

  • Multi-walled nanotubes
  • Single-walled nanotubes

Key Findings

Materials technology produce the high-strength carbon nano tube materials needed for efficient space elevator construction and for a wide variety of new and improved products.

Climatic conditions are suitable at Equatorial region.

The space elevator structure is inherently flexible over its great length and can be designed to avoid major hazards. Minor hits from asteroid debris are inevitable and will require standard repair procedures.

Pricing

Component Cost Estimate
Launch Cost $1.02 B
Cable Production $390 M
Spacecraft $507 M
Climbers $367 M
Power Laser $1.5 B
Anchor Station $120 M
Tracking Facility $500 M
Other $430 M
Contingency (30%) $1.44 B
Total $6.2 B

Future Directions

Develop advanced high-strength materials like the graphite, alumina, and quartz whiskers that exhibit laboratory strengths >20 GPa. Introduce these new lightweight, high-strength materials to the commercial, space, and military markets for new and improved product developments.

Develop high-speed electromagnetic propulsion for mass transportation systems, launch assist systems, and high-velocity launch rails.

Applications of the Space Elevator

  • Every development must have some value to be worth doing.
  • In the case of the space elevator there are both short and long-term applications.
  • The immediate first use of the space elevator is deployment of Earth-orbiting satellites for telecommunications, military, Earth monitoring, etc.
  • Every development must have some value to be worth doing.
  • In the case of the space elevator there are both short and long-term applications.
  • The immediate first use of the space elevator is deployment of Earth-orbiting satellites for telecommunications, military, Earth monitoring, etc.
  • The traditional markets the space elevator will address include:
  • Telecommunications
  • Remote sensing
  • Department of Defense
  • A few of the military applications that a space elevator would enable include
  • High-resolution, broadspectrum,24/7 surveillance from GEO
  • Narrow-band and pinpoint communications
  • On-orbit storage of kinetic impact weapons or observation drones for fast global delivery
  • Spotlight illumination
  • Control of global communications

Problems Encountered

  • Cost – High production costs
  • Separation – Untangling nano tube
  • Length – 36,000 Km needs a lot of ribbon

Method to Improve Elevator

Use superconducting property of nanotube ribbon

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