Space Elevator On The Fast Track

from the one-of-those-big-projects dept

I've been reading a lot about space elevators lately, and it seems to be the type of thing that is gaining a lot of attention from techies as a really cool "big" project to get excited about. I've seen some people argue that it's a bad idea, but plenty more seem to think the challenge can be met. is running an interesting article that summarizes a lot of what's going on in the space elevator world. My biggest fear is what happens if the "ribbon" breaks? It seems like the type of thing that if you screw it up, you could endanger, well, the entire planet.

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  1. identicon
    Brandon, Aug 20th, 2002 @ 6:05pm

    Green Mars

    Kim Stanley Robinson has a depiction of a cable falling in his Mars Trilogy (I think in Green Mars). Granted, that fall was on Mars... which had a significantly smaller population.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Rootman, Oct 14th, 2003 @ 1:16pm

    If it breaks?


    Depends a lot on WHERE doesn't it? I suppose if it broke off at ground level anyone around might get whacked pretty hard but the space anchor would just haul the line up and away carried by centripetal force.

    At 62,000 miles if it snapped off at the other end it could potentially wrap around the earth 2 1/2 times; "Watch out! Here it comes again!". Then again the mere mass of the cable alone might keep it aloft.

    Perhaps it would just fall into a great heap.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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