28 Aug '15, 9pm

How to Build a Space Elevator From Scratch

How to Build a Space Elevator From Scratch

Even with innovations like SpaceX’s reusable robotic boosters, chemical rockets remain an expensive , dangerous and unreliable way to reach orbit. How much easier it would be if astronauts could simply step into an elevator, press O for Orbit, and ascend gracefully to outer space. This is the dream of the collection of scientists, engineers, and entrepreneurs in the International Space Elevator Consortium (ISEC) who got together for its annual conference last week in Seattle. The idea of a space elevator has been around for over a century. The basic concept is simple : a tether descends from a spacecraft in geostationary orbit to a floating platform at the equator, probably in the eastern Pacific Ocean. Because of a counterweight that would extend far into space, the space elevator’s tether would be gravitationally stable, allowing electric elevator cars to make the week-l...

Full article: http://spectrum.ieee.org/tech-talk/aerospace/space-flight...

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