Re: [SFC] Re: Space elevator..Is it really likely?
- In a message dated 11/16/2008 1:26:09 P.M. Central Standard Time,
They've been kicking this around longer then that. My first encounter
with the Idea was a copy of Mystery in Space I found in the mid 70's.
Others refferences are even older.
The concept of a space elevator dates back to 1895, when Konstantin
Tsiolkovsky, proposed a compression structure, (that is, a free-
standing tower), or "Tsiolkovsky tower" reaching from the surface of
Earth to geostationary orbit. Most recent discussions focus on
tensile structures (tethers) reaching from geostationary orbit to the
ground. (A tensile structure would be held in tension between Earth
and the counterweight in space, like a guitar string held taut.)
Space elevators have also sometimes been referred to as beanstalks,
space bridges, space lifts, space ladders, skyhooks, orbital towers,
or orbital elevators.
Two recent anime series, Zone of the Enders and Bubblegum Crisis
Tokyo 2040, featured the concept as a major plot point.
It would be a great method of reducing the cost of space missions and
opening near earth orbit to the masses. Like those submarines for
tourists that some resorts run, there could be orbital craft that
take you for a few reveolutions of the Earth.
Two great novels that had space elevators as the main plot device
- Foundations of Paradise by Clarke
- Web Between The Worlds by Sheffield
KSR also had a space elevator on Mars in his Red Mars, novel. It was a
great scene when it was sabotaged and crashed into the surface.
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