ISEC is not putting all of its eggs in a basket made from carbon nanotubes, however.
Astronauts and crews would travel up and down the tether in cars, which would remove the need for rocket launches altogether. They all share the goal of replacing rocket propulsion with the traversal of a fixed structure via a mechanism not unlike an elevator in order to move material into or beyond orbit.
Another serious problem is that of radical cable movement and the potential for whipping action and vibrations. Serious traffic of 100 tons per hour would take 1.
The climbers themselves create another problem: Unfortunately, there are enough technological, logistical, and political hurdles in play that just might make the entire venture impossible — or if not impossible, extremely impractical. Earth Optimism Summit.
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The Root The Glow Up. Similarly, Bradley Edwards, who authored a detailed 2003 space elevator concept study for NASA , cautions against the idea of attaching thrusters to the tether, noting that the complexity of operating climbers with hardware on the ribbon is serious. Even though the effect could only be measured in nanoseconds, he suspects someone will raise a stink about it. Ding and his colleagues ran computer simulations testing how the the hexagonal grid structure of most carbon nanotubes would hold up if altered.
Little wonder then why multiple companies and organizations are hoping to find ways to overcome the technical and engineering challenges such a structure would entail. The solution: A successful operation would be extremely costly and result in tremendous damage.
Comment on this Story. Our Planet. In this scenario, a cable would be run from the moon and out through the L1 Lagrangian point.
Henson worries that the cable, when exposed to such a tremendous strain, will simply unzip. Many different types of space elevators have been proposed.