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The 62,000-Mile Elevator Ride--Nanotubes

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
http://money.cnn.com/magazines/busin...0588/index.htm

Nanotube technology has brought new life to an old idea--an elevator on a 65,000 mile tether held out from the Earth by an orbitting counterwieght.

Sounds crazy? 2 Companies are currently working to develop the technology--which will have the byproduct of introducing a new building material--nanotubes--and making our current modes of structural engineering obsolete.

Carbon Nanotubes are the lightest strongest material known to man--a nanoribbon the width of a sewing thread is strong enough to lift a large automobile...
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post #2 of 11
definetly the future. all this nano stuff is awesome.
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post #3 of 11
bringing new meaning to " holding on by a thread "
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post #4 of 11
I saw something about it in Popular Mechanics. NASA wants to build one to service a future space station.
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Very nice!
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post #5 of 11
Also saw this in either Popular Science or Mechanics 2-3 months ago. It is possible and practical for certain tasks.

The only thing that would make it worth the investment though is if we intend to keep building additional space stations that would need constant maintainance.
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post #6 of 11
Lol, a 7 day long elevator ride! I'm sure once they get the technology perfected they will get the speeds far beyond 120MPH though I think that the thing they said about reducing the cost of a shuttle launch by 98% would be phenomenal, Imagine having this elevator go straight up and instead of having a useless counterweight at the end, you have it go right up to a space station. That way any future shuttle launches (we're looking at Mars aren't we?) could simply take off from there and the astronauts and supplies could be sent to the space station via the space elevator that would really revolutionize space travel.

What we really need is the space station from 3001: The Final Odyssey, where they had 4 space elevators and they were all linked by a giant ring around the Earth I mean if there's only one, where will it be? China or the U.S.? that could start some major controversy and stuff and the last thing we need is to piss off some country who will bomb the elevator LOOL!
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post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
or cut the tether lol
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post #8 of 11
do you really think that it will be that easy to cut something that is 100 times as strong as steel?
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post #9 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lethal Injection
do you really think that it will be that easy to cut something that is 100 times as strong as steel?
Hmm well carbon is flammible so I guess you could burn through it lol.
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post #10 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by CNN Money
The floating platform will ideally be anchored on the equator, Earth's calmest area with the fewest lightning strikes and storms. The ribbon will have the highest melting point of any material ever produced and be flexible enough to withstand high winds.
IEEE had an article about this back in August. It has some really cool rendered graphics of what it "might" look like. Just click on the links in the article to see the pics.
http://www.spectrum.ieee.org/aug05/1690
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