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Airplanes, Rocketry, Missiles, Spacecraft and things that go WHOOSH! in the night.
What's flying around my head at the current time.

Sunday, June 06, 2004

Bean Stalk to the Stars! 

The concept of the "space elevator" is a recurring device used in SF stories to routinely lift payloads to geostationary orbit. I first read about the concept in Arthur C. Clarke's Fountains of Paradise, and have most recently encoutered the proposal in a trilogy by David Gerrold: Jumping Off the Planet, Bouncing Off the Moon, and Leaping to the Stars. The advantage is that using "elevators" to lift payloads to orbit would be much cheaper than the current chemical rocket technology. The biggest drawback is that we currently do not have the materials and structures technology to build such a structure. However, a recent technology, carbon nanotubes is showing promise. If they can be produced in commercial quantity, Material with sufficient tensile strength to withstand the shear forces in a multi-thousand-mile "shaft" would have to withstand.
LiftPort Group Inc. is a startup company that is hoping to build the first Beanstalk witha projected first lift date of pril 12, 2015. The Space Elevator Reference is a site with news and information on space elevators.

The Dispatch
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