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Re: NASA Funds Cable Climbing Experiments

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avatar NASA Funds Cable Climbing Experiments
November 08, 2009 10:26PM
(Another way to climb Half Dome?)

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn18122-space-elevator-wins-900000-nasa-prize.html

'Space elevator' wins $900,000 NASA prize
23:37 06 November 2009 by David Shiga

A laser-powered robotic climber has won $900,000 in a competition designed to spur technology for a future elevator to space.

Building a space elevator would require anchoring a cable on the ground near Earth's equator and deploying the other end thousands of kilometres into space. The centrifugal force due to Earth's spin would keep the cable taut so that a robot could climb it and release payloads into orbit.....



The cure for a fallacious argument is a better argument, not the suppression of ideas.
-- Carl Sagan
avatar Re: NASA Funds Cable Climbing Experiments
November 08, 2009 11:14PM
I wonder what thousands of kilometers of cable weighs. It doesn't seem as if you could put it up in chunks.



Old Dude



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/08/2009 11:14PM by mrcondron.
avatar Re: NASA Funds Cable Climbing Experiments
November 08, 2009 11:59PM
Quote
mrcondron
I wonder what thousands of kilometers of cable weighs. It doesn't seem as if you could put it up in chunks.

Think about what it'd do if it breaks.
avatar Re: NASA Funds Cable Climbing Experiments
November 09, 2009 12:00AM
Quote
mrcondron
It doesn't seem as if you could put it up in chunks.

No, you extrude it (in both directions) from synchronous orbit. It's the landing/anchoring that's really hard.
avatar Re: NASA Funds Cable Climbing Experiments
November 09, 2009 07:18AM
This is getting silly.
avatar Re: NASA Funds Cable Climbing Experiments
November 09, 2009 08:56AM
Ah, you do have a sense of whimsey after all.



Old Dude
avatar Re: NASA Funds Cable Climbing Experiments
November 09, 2009 12:27PM
The theory sounds great but I don't see what would keep the thousands of kilometers long cable from bending due to the Earth's rotation. There would have to be a large counterweight of some sort on the outer end but the engineering to figure out how to keep the cable straight still seems mind boggling.

Jim
avatar Re: NASA Funds Cable Climbing Experiments
November 09, 2009 01:31PM
Quote
tomdisco
The theory sounds great but I don't see what would keep the thousands of kilometers long cable from bending due to the Earth's rotation. There would have to be a large counterweight of some sort on the outer end but the engineering to figure out how to keep the cable straight still seems mind boggling.

Jim

It seems on the surface to be absurd science fantasy where one physics principle is employed to postulate a solution to space travel, but other principles like gravity, air resistance, friction, drag, climate, stretch of metal, etc are ignored. But, I have been wrong before (Initially, I did not think you could see Half Dome from Turlock, for instance) and NASA must have thought it at least theoretically possible to throw some money at the project.



The cure for a fallacious argument is a better argument, not the suppression of ideas.
-- Carl Sagan
avatar Re: NASA Funds Cable Climbing Experiments
November 09, 2009 01:56PM
avatar Re: NASA Funds Cable Climbing Experiments
November 09, 2009 02:46PM
avatar Re: NASA Funds Cable Climbing Experiments
November 09, 2009 06:02PM
I like best in the Wikipedia article the carbon nanotube illustration:

Looks like space exploration could involve climbing up a chicken wire tube:





The cure for a fallacious argument is a better argument, not the suppression of ideas.
-- Carl Sagan
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