Saturday, October 04, 2008

What Floor?

From 2004:

From CNN today:

'Space elevator' would take humans into orbit
By Mike Steere

LONDON, England (CNN) -- A new space race is officially under way, and this one should have the sci-fi geeks salivating.

The project is a "space elevator," and some experts now believe that the concept is well within the bounds of possibility -- maybe even within our lifetimes.

A conference discussing developments in space elevator concepts is being held in Japan in November, and hundreds of engineers and scientists from Asia, Europe and the Americas are working to design the only lift that will take you directly to the one hundred-thousandth floor....A cable anchored to the Earth's surface, reaching tens of thousands of kilometers into space, balanced with a counterweight attached at the other end is the basic design for the elevator.

It is thought that inertia -- the physics theory stating that matter retains its velocity along a straight line so long as it is not acted upon by an external force -- will cause the cable to stay stretched taut, allowing the elevator to sit in geostationary orbit.

The cable would extend into the sky, eventually reaching a satellite docking station orbiting in space.
The response to the story from a CNN reader - and so clearly, one of those Williamsburg NIMBYs - made me laugh out loud: "I just think that it'll be a waste of time, resources, and money. It'll be a maintenance nightmare." (Italics mine.)

Um, yeah, I'm sure that's the biggest problem with this project. Also, this isn't a "new" project as CNN says...see here.


jjomomma said...

Whatever happened to teleporting? That seems so much more practical than an elevator in the sky using a counterweight system. No one is even taking gravitational pull into consideration. This calls for a complicated review of the day, yelp-like algorithm...

City Elf said...

teleporting and flying cars...we should have both by now.