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Is NASA working on a space elevator?

NASA says the basic concept of a space elevator is sound, and researchers around the world are optimistic that one can be built. The Obayashi Corp., a global construction firm based in Tokyo, has said it will build one by 2050, and China wants to build one as soon as 2045.

Are space tethers real?

Space tethers are long cables which can be used for propulsion, momentum exchange, stabilization and attitude control, or maintaining the relative positions of the components of a large dispersed satellite/spacecraft sensor system.

What is space elevator NASA?

A space elevator is essentially a long cable extending from our planet’s surface into space with its center of mass at geostationary Earth orbit (GEO), 35,786 km in altitude. “The system requires the center of mass be in geostationary orbit,” said Smitherman. “The cable is basically in orbit around the Earth.”

Is anyone building a space tether?

A Japanese led international team is developing a suborbital test of an electrodynamic tether which may one day enable spacecraft to maneuver in space without the use of any propellant.

Why is a space elevator impossible?

Historically, the main technical problem has been considered the ability of the cable to hold up, with tension, the weight of itself below any given point. The greatest tension on a space elevator cable is at the point of geostationary orbit, 35,786 km (22,236 mi) above the Earth’s equator.

How much would a space tether cost?

Compared to space shuttles, which cost about $22,000 per kilogram to take cargo into space, the Space Elevator – which relies on rocket-powered robot cars that zip along the tether – could do it for as little as $200 to $500 (depending on who’s estimates you consider).

Can a space elevator be built on the moon?

A lunar space elevator or lunar spacelift is a proposed transportation system for moving a mechanical climbing vehicle up and down a ribbon-shaped tethered cable that is set between the surface of the Moon “at the bottom” and a docking port suspended tens of thousands of kilometers above in space at the top.

Is Japan building an elevator to space?

The Science Council of Japan is proposing a “hybrid space elevator” approach, which means simultaneously developing a concept that would be built from the ground and one to be constructed in space. Graphical depiction of Obayashi Corporation’s newly designed space-elevator system to be built by 2050.

Are there space elevators in the United States?

Inspired partly by science fiction, NASA scientists are seriously considering space elevators as a mass-transit system for the next century. (requires RealPlayer) Sept. 7, 2000 — “Yes, ladies and gentlemen, welcome aboard NASA’s Millennium-Two Space Elevator.

How tall is the base tower for the space elevator?

Electromagnetic vehicles traveling along the cable could serve as a mass transportation system for moving people, payloads, and power between Earth and space. Current plans call for a base tower approximately 50 km tall — the cable would be tethered to the top.

Who is the inventor of the space elevator?

As early as 1895, a Russian scientist named Konstantin Tsiolkovsky suggested a fanciful “Celestial Castle” in geosynchronous Earth orbit attached to a tower on the ground, not unlike Paris’s Eiffel tower. Another Russian, a Leningrad engineer by the name of Yuri Artsutanov, wrote some of the first modern ideas about space elevators in 1960.

Which is the strongest material for a space elevator?

Carbon nanotubes have exceeded all other materials and appear to have a theoretical strength far above the desired range for space elevator structures. “The development of carbon nanotubes shows real promise,” said Smitherman. “They’re lightweight materials that are 100 times stronger than steel.”