[ RadSafe ] space elevator
Brennan, Mike (DOH)
Mike.Brennan at DOH.WA.GOV
Mon Aug 17 18:58:06 CDT 2015
I've been following Liftport, one of the leaders in the space elevator quest for some time, and it is a very interesting proposition. We now have materials that could be used for a Moon-to-space elevator, though we do not have materials that can be used for an Earth-to-space elevator (but there is good reason to believe we will be there soon).
The Earth-to-space elevator proposed by Liftport would have a station in geosynchronous orbit (about 42,000 km), with a ribbon continuing out another 90,000 km (give or take) to act as a counterbalance. Cars climbing the ribbon from the ground would take one to two weeks to reach the station (cars going to Low Earth Orbit to release satellites would get there in a couple of days). The counter balance ribbon could be used as a launch system, letting probes free-wheel down the ribbon, using centrifugal force to sling (literally) the package out of the Earth-Moon system (targeting left as an exercise for the reader).
Shielding will be a non-trivial issue, as the station at geosync will be in the Van Allen Belt, rather than below it like the ISS. It may be that a lot of the work at the station will be done via telepresence.
From: radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu [mailto:radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu] On Behalf Of ROY HERREN
Sent: Monday, August 17, 2015 3:35 PM
To: The International Radiation Protection (Health Physics) Mailing List; The International Radiation Protection (Health Physics) Mailing List
Subject: Re: [ RadSafe ] space elevator
An operable space elevator would be a wonderful step towards humanities reaching out and inhabiting space. The financial cost per kilogram of material currently launched into space is a limiting factor that is holding back greater exploration of space. It's hard to imagine though how any one company or even country could afford to build such a complicated and large of a structure. If this is to happen, it will likely require an international consortium for financing and construction.
Question, where in space would such an elevator terminate, i.e. a space port, a space dock for assembling space ships, etc.?
Just to rope this discussion into the mailing list topic of concern, would deep-space manned space ships assembled in a space dock initially have fission reactors? What would propel such ship, ion propulsion? Could deep-space space ships harvest enough interstellar gas to provide propulsion, or would they have to bring all the material with them from earth?
You are currently subscribed to the RadSafe mailing list
Before posting a message to RadSafe be sure to have read and understood the RadSafe rules. These can be found at: http://health.phys.iit.edu/radsaferules.html
For information on how to subscribe or unsubscribe and other settings visit: http://health.phys.iit.edu
More information about the RadSafe