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Scientists envision a bizarre "space elevator" that can move astronauts from Earth orbit to the Moon



Scientists are designing plans for a bizarre "space elevator" that could transport astronauts from Earth orbit to the lunar surface – but it would take several DAYs to get there.

  • The traditional space elevator concept would connect the ground with Earth orbit
  • However, at present we can not build such a cable that can carry its weight.
  • A "space line" would avoid most of Earth's gravity on its way from orbit to the Moon.
  • The use of solar-powered elevator cabins would cut fuel costs by a third
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In a proposal for an unusual type of space elevator, a cable would connect the moon to a docking station in Earth orbit.

Astronauts and cargo are flown Up to the orbital dock a ferry to the lunar surface could be used in a solar-powered elevator car.

With this so-called "spaceline", the rocket fuel required for a journey between the Earth and the Moon could be reduced many times over

However, the ride in the elevator can take several days or even weeks, which means that the elevator cabins will last for a long time Drive people need support.

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  An unusual kind of space elevator would see a cable connecting the moon to a docking station in Earth orbit. Astronauts and cargo, which were flown to the orbital dock, could then be brought to the lunar surface in a solar-powered elevator car.

An unusual type of space elevator saw a cable connecting the moon to a docking station in Earth orbit. Astronauts and cargo flown to the orbital dock could then be brought to the lunar surface in a solar-powered elevator car.

The traditional concept for a space elevator involves a cable that connects the Earth to a point directly above Earth's geostationary orbit.

At present, however, we can not make a cable that is strong enough to support its own weight.

Instead, astrophysicists Zephyr Penoyre and Emily Sandford of Columbia University, New York, suggest building the elevator in the opposite direction, moving from orbit to the lunar surface close to the earth.

"A cable that hangs only in the earth's gravity source does not have to be thick or massive," write Mr. Penoyre and Ms. Sandford in their draft paper to Earth. This means that the gravitational forces experienced by the cable, and thus the voltage, are greatly reduced.

At the near end of such an elevator – which the researchers call a "spaceline" – a docking station would enable rockets from Earth to shuttle the astronauts, cargo and scientific equipment.

This would then be transported along the huge cable to the lunar surface, at a fraction of the energy cost of sending a rocket on the same voyage.

The only drawback to The Space Line concept, however, is that the elevator ride would take much longer than driving a normal space elevator into orbit.

  Using the space line would reduce the rocket fuel needed to travel between the Earth and the Moon by a third. Pictured is an artistic impression of the earth from the lunar surface

. Using the space line would reduce the rocket fuel required to travel between the Earth and the Moon by one-third. In the picture, an artistic impression of the earth seen from the lunar surface

  The traditional concept of a space elevator, as in this artistic impression, introduces a cable that connects the earth with a point directly above it and extends beyond the geostationary Earth orbit ,

The traditional concept for a space elevator, as depicted in this artist, is: cable that connects the earth to a point directly above the earth's surface and extends beyond the geostationary Earth orbit

"The construction of a space line It would be a major technical challenge, as the limits of current human capacity would be exceeded – but not exceeded, "the researchers wrote.

"Even in its most economical form, a cable with a width of just over a pencil lead, it could cost billions of dollars for material and transportation sports – and it's hard to figure out what additional cost such a project could cause , "

" But a billion-dollar price is not inaccessible – and the possibilities that could be achieved with such a structure can quickly pay off. "

However, one problem with maintaining the space line would be to eliminate the damage caused by micro-sized meteorite impacts – which would even break the cable on impact with multiple strands, so that one can break with the strength of the whole. [19659010] The full research is being prepared for submission to the journal Acta Astronautica.

A pre-printed version of the article that has not been reviewed can be read in the arXiv repository.

WHY BUILD A SPACELINE?

Reduced Transport costs

It costs a little less to reach the space line than to move into a geostationary orbit, transport along the cable would be free of charge The elevator cabins should be powered by solar energy Lunar surface to one-third of their current value.

Simple and safer rides.

Moving between points on the space line is ei nicer and safer than moving, docking and navigating through the empty space.

Transport to and from the lunar surface

Small loads can be transported to and from the moon.

The transport of material to and from space to the moon without missiles alters the economics of scientific and industrial projects that could be carried out on the lunar surface.

The technological endeavor

A project like this will inevitably bring with it technical challenges.

Your overcoming will drive our technological capabilities.

A difficult but achievable task requires that we create, master, and reward new techniques.

Construction of a base camp at the Lagrange point.

The Earth-Moon Lagrange is a gravitational Still Point Where the tug of war between the Earth and the gravity of the Moon is balanced.

As you move through the space line, the Earth-Moon-Lagrange point effectively becomes stable.

In this gravity-free environment, we can build habitats and devices of any mass.

Previous space stations have been constrained by cramped conditions and hazardous environments.

In contrast, the Lagrange Point is a haven for expansion and cultivation.

Such a base camp would enable the construction and maintenance of a new generation of space-based experiments.

These could include telescopes, particle accelerators, gravitational wave detectors, vivariums, power generators and starting points for missions to the rest of the world belonging to the solar system.

Source: Penoyre & Sandford, The Spaceline: A Practical Alternative for Space Elevators Accessible With Current Technology

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