Is space elevator possible with current technology?
Access to space may have seemed impossible at times, but in the future, it will be as simple as going upstairs in an elevator. This method, which has been studied for decades, is proposed as a solution for transporting goods into space. Eventually, people will be transported to space through it for less than rockets.

The Process

One of the main reasons for the high cost of space travel is that it overcomes gravity. The cost of using rockets is high because it requires the necessary power. Elevators can transport people and goods even faster and cheaper. For this purpose, the sea level is about 1 km. A long cable would have to be laid to the geostationary orbit where 35,786 high-altitude satellites are stationed, giving the impression of being able to leave the Earth in a matter of days with ease and low cost. What happens here is, a cable that hundred times wide as its length, is connected to an external mass that rotates at a speed equal to the rotation of the earth. Then the Earth’s gravity pulls the cable towards itself, and the centrifugal force of the orbital mass pulls it away. It provides a stable, straight cable that can be used to transport a lift.One of the main reasons for the high cost of space travel is that it overcomes gravity. The cost of using rockets is high because it requires the necessary power. Elevators can transport people and goods even faster and cheaper. For this purpose, the sea level is about 1 km. A long cable would have to be laid to the geostationary orbit where 35,786 high-altitude satellites are stationed, giving the impression of being able to leave the Earth in a matter of days with ease and low cost. What happens here is, a cable that hundred times wide as its length, is connected to an external mass that rotates at a speed equal to the rotation of the earth. Then the Earth’s gravity pulls the cable towards itself, and the centrifugal force of the orbital mass pulls it away. It provides a stable, straight cable that can be used to transport a lift.
User:Bryan Derksen, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
The first idea of ​​this method was proposed in 1895 by the Soviet Russian rocket scientist Konstantin Tsiolkovsky. His idea was that a tower built into space like the Eiffel Tower could transport goods into geostationary orbit. As the cargo tower ascended, it was expected to use the horizontal velocity of the Earth’s rotation to gain the power needed to orbit. Theoretically, this method would be successful, but the lower part of the tower would have difficulty lifting the load above. So the modern idea is to use fiber instead. It can withstand more stress and has higher mechanical strength, and unlike normal elevators, its ascent takes place without moving the cable.

Cable and power supply

Liftport, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
The elevator cable is considered to be able to withstand the effects of stress, earth’s weather, solar radiation, meteorites, and other debris. One option is to use nano-carbon tubes, which are 100 times more powerful than steel. But because they are only a few meters long, they have not yet been able to fit into a space elevator. LiftPort, an American company that has been searching for the raw material, has tested it with polyethylene plastic fibers, but they are not resistant to solar radiation. The power required for space elevators can be obtained through solar cells. These solar cells in the orbiting part receive more sunlight than the Earth’s surface, as they receive sunlight without any filtration (clouds and other weather factors). It is so powerful that it can be used for elevator operation and return the rest to Earth if needed.

Current technology is sufficient to process

Many organizations around the world are engaged in research in this regard, which can be developed using current technology and is currently estimated to cost between $ 1 billion and $ 90 billion. In September 2018, The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency of Japan built a small space elevator and tested its ability to withstand environmental conditions. Named STARS-Me (Space Tethered Autonomous Robotic Satellite – Miniature Elevator), it was developed by a team of researchers at Shizuoka University. It used two CubeSat satellites, 14 meters apart, to communicate with the Earth. The aim was to send a small elevator with Bluetooth from one satellite to another, and a report in February 2019 showed that the launch was a success. But the researchers were unable to communicate with one satellite.
Liftport, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
They are now planning to use another two kilometers of cable to use a robot to remove debris from space. The European Space Agency estimates that the cm. There are about 128 million debris less than 1 cm around the Earth. There is about 900,000 debris between 1-10. There is no doubt that the removal of this debris, which is a major nuisance to the world of aerospace technology, will allow for more projects around the world. Japan’s Obayashi Institute plans to build a space elevator that can send humans into geostationary orbit by 2050, and its base will be part of a 400 – meter submarine. The Launch Vehicle Technology Institute, which is under China’s national space program, also has plans to build a space lift by 2045. NASA has funded research in this regard, but no decision has yet been made to set one up. Do you think this would be a good idea? Or does the world want an even better system?

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