Space Elevator

By Deane Barker on June 25, 2004

Scientist Imagines Elevator Reaching 62,000 Miles Into Space: This seems so wrong on so many levels.

President Bush wants to return to the moon and put a man on Mars. But scientist Bradley C. Edwards has an idea that’s really out of this world: an elevator that climbs 62,000 miles into space.

Edwards thinks an initial version could be operating in 15 years, a year earlier than Bush’s 2020 timetable for a return to the moon. He pegs the cost at $10 billion, a pittance compared with other space endeavors.

Wikipedia has a huge article on this concept, in which they say this:

A space elevator would present a considerable navigational hazard, both to aircraft and spacecraft. Aircraft could be dealt with […], but spacecraft are a more difficult problem. Over a long period of time all satellites with perigees below geostationary altitude would eventually collide with the space elevator, as their orbits precess around Earth.

Yeah, that sounds safe.

Gadgetopia

Comments

  1. There is a Star Trek: Voyager episode where they use something like this.

    http://www.startrek.com/startrek/view/series/VOY/episode/68954.html http://www.startrek.com/startrek/mediaview?id=2101324

    One aspect that the Wikipedia article doesn’t touch on is space tourism; I know I’d pay to take a ride into orbit on one of these things! And you can bet it would be considerably cheaper than a 1.5 hour ride in Rutan’s SpaceShip 1. Think of how easy it would be to have an orbiting “hotel”, and what people would pay to spend a night there. Probably puking half the time, but…

    How’s that for lame; not only that I remember that Voyager episode, but know off the top of my head where to find a picture of it.

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