Japan is about to begin their initial testing on the feasibility of a “space elevator.” In lieu of rocket launches, the research team seeks to find out if using an elevator to get to space is even possible.
“It’s going to be the world’s first experiment to test elevator movement in space,” a university spokesperson told Agence France Press.
On September 11, a team from Shizuoka University’s Faculty of Engineering will be launching a scale model of a space elevator into Earth orbit: two small cubic satellites just 10 centimeters (4 inches) per side, connected by a 10-meter (33-foot) steel cable, according to Science Alert.
A Japanese construction company named Obayashi Corp., which is working with Shizuoka University and has previously announced that it hopes to get a space elevator operational by the year 2050. This would include a space station in geostationary orbit at an altitude of 35,000 kilometers (22,000 miles) and a tether in the Pacific Ocean.
Engineers have been dreaming of a space elevator for over 100 years, ever since Russian scientist Konstantin Tsiolkovsky came up with the idea after seeing the Eiffel Tower in 1895. The technology has made multiple appearances in science fiction since.
The technical challenges involved in implementing a space elevator are not minimal, however. For starters, it would need to be constructed of a material that’s light enough not to collapse under its own weight. This material would also need to be strong enough to withstand the tension induced by the centrifugal force acting on the elevator’s counterweight, way beyond Earth’s atmosphere (in space), to keep the elevator upright. The material would also have to withstand the gravitational forces from Earth, the Sun, and the Moon, as well as the stresses induced by Earth’s atmospheric conditions, such as strong winds.
It is still a far cry from the ultimate “beam-me-up” goals of the project, which builds on a long history of “space elevator” dreams. But that’s what keeps researchers moving. “In theory, a space elevator is highly plausible,” Shizuoka University engineer Yoji Ishikawa said. “Space travel may become something popular in the future.”
Would it be easier to put the space elevator on the south pole where it will rotate, vs placing the elevator on the equator where it will ‘swing’ wildly with the rotation of the Earth ?
What is the best location on Earth To build a surface to orbit elevator ?
The Japanese need to concentrate on Fukushima Daiichi right now with all their resources as they have been poisoning the whole world now for several years. They cannot handle a nuclear reactor and they want to build a friggin space elevator. Too much Star Trek viewing I guess.
I agree. Fukushima is where every available Japanese resource should be expended, not some stupid space elevator. As a matter of fact, the only things Japanese colleges should be teaching is safe nuclear power, nuclear disaster relief, safe geological reactor placement, nuclear waste clean up, nuclear environmental effects, environmental impacts of nuclear energy, safe alternatives to nuclear energy, ecosystems and oceanic conservation. I hope they tether their fcking space elevator to the melted Fukushima reactor. Stupid fish heads!
Fiction, pure fiction, a space elevator will never be built because it is just not feasible. I agree, Japan needs to be trying to solve the problems created by Fukushima Daiichi. Clean up your mess here on earth before you start polluting and contaminating outer space.
A weighted end on a long cord centrifugally held out in space works in theory but the conservation of angular movement says it will also slow rotation of the earth some tiny percentage. Some say it would be so small as to be unmeasurable but that would have to be determined first.
Agree with the comments above about Fukushima.
Fukushima and the elevator are mainly financial vehicles, like that bridge to nowhere. For rhetorical purposes, forget that there is any real infrastructure. That’s not the point, at all.
Kudos to being thoughtful.
The poles are believed to move and so is space itself.
Well, Forstchen’s One Second After was so compelling that I read the next two books which were okay but hardly believeable.
So then I read Pillar to the Sky which is about the creation of a space elevator. It ends up being massively expensive but spurs on new technology that enormous promise to solving major issues. It’s okay and rated 3.5 out of 5.0.
The moon missions ended up generating enprmous technolgical leaps, but when we abandoned it, the USA began to stagnate.
What we could inexpensively do is create livable space on the oceans as we already by treaty consider territorial waters of 12 nautical miles. Thus all nations could expand in this manner and that would inexpensively be a way to cope.
Obviously China has already done so, thus how much longer before we do as well?
The major obstacle of merely living the moon is low gravity and the detrimental effects on skeletal formation and muscle tone loss by atrophy. Thus it’s likely to be permanent exile if you stay for two years as recovery is just about impossible for the average person.
No one know what hazards exist further out due to cosmic radiation. It may be impossible.
Mars cannot easily be colonized without remarkable terraforming and atmospheric processing. This probably would be mostly biological not mechanical by introducing flora and fauna. And likely this contaminates whatever exists and some is likely to be hazardous in some fashion.
However expensive nuclear waste is, is abhorrent but we could eject nuclear waste into space, although it is extremely expensive.
I always wondered what would happen to a child conceived and born in the weightlessness of outer space.
Would the child ever be able to return to the influence of gravity and live a “normal” life??
God put man where he needed to be, this should answer your question.
The Soviet’s generally abused their cosmonauts by sending them on suicide missions, taking outrageous risks, we’ll never know how many died, but some horrific deaths where female cosmonauts burned up did occur.
Anyways they did long term studies on cosmonauts on space stations and those guys were just about debilitated upon returning. And they were robust, athletic specimens. It really screws up how the various bone cells operate under low gravity and zero gravity. Osteoblasts build and osteoclasts tear down and this is a very dynamic process.
It’s been compared to scaffolding being constantly assembled and disassembled and reassembled. And then osteoid has to fill in the gaps. And then the blood supply and peripheral nerves form and change. So it is highly complex.
Well, that changes based upon DEMAND and that has gravity acting to alter demand so we really don’t know what the LONG term effects would be. Either we have to spin the craft to develop stable gravity or find a way to generate gravity because exercise is near constant and does NOT suffice.
Then this creates muscle atrophy as well. If you ever broke an arm or leg and ended up disusing it, then you watched your muscles shrink. And that takes forever to gain back. This originally was studied on postCivil War veterans on both sides who had been in cruel conditions in places like Andersonville. That is when we first started using steroid to rebuild muscle.
1961 The female cosmonaut who burned up in orbit and who has never been acknowledged as even existing.
Had she succeeded, they would have given her the Order of Lenin and made a Hero of the USSR. Such is the heinous price of communism.
In 1987, Colonel Yuri Romanenko spent about a year in space and he was a big bear of a man and it just about killed him.
So, after spending 33 trillion dollars, Japan gets to ten feet within reach of building the final section of the space elevator when scientists abort the project. At the top, they start getting
hellucinations of God looking down on them with a half hearted smile saying, “No delusions of grandeur, this is MY SPACE”.
33 trillion? Hmmm……
The top of the elevator would be in geosynchronous orbit, but the rest of it wouldn’t. I’m thinking it would take an extreme amount of energy and toughness to withstand the forces trying to make the middle of the elevator orbit the earth at a different rate than the other parts.
I can’t wrap my mind around how this might be accomplished either. Hopefully some incidental breakthrough (materials science perhaps?) makes this endeavor worthwhile, even if the goal isn’t realized.
The rest of it wouldn’t be “in orbit”
it would be hanging from the counterweight a little past geosynchronous orbit (to make up for the hanging part)
If you hang a planter on the porch rail does it have to go 18,000 miles per hour to stay up?… no, it’s HANGING!
what if it is constructed at the poles?
Has to be the equator for it to be tethered to the earth. Must be thinking of graphine for the tether. Need very strong very light “rope”.
Couple of questions – what about weather effects on it? What if it did break….. would it snap and recoil like a MF/whip or just fall? Thing would have to have weight/mass. Seems like no matter how thin, it’d come down hard as all.
Yeah, this whip effect over an extremely long distance plays a role in Forstchen’s Pillar to the Sky. It’s worth reading as it’s diverting and scientific and quite an adventure.
It ends up being a survival story because shipping them food is an issue and trying to stay alive with minimal water as that is so heavy. So staying clean is an issue. Imagine being cooped up in a capsule long term and the mental stress.
OK. If you read the link, they admit they don’t yet have the technology to do this elevator, but they’re working on it. How much lead shielding is needed to get humans through the Van Allen Belts and protect them from deep space radiation when at the destination is a major stumbling block, as far as I can see. The station is made of balloons…lol…what type of shielding is that?
Much the same as commercial thorium reactors or flying cars the useable product is always twenty years out.
MLK had a dream, too, I guess.
Fix your nuclear reactor that’s pouring waste into the Pacific Ocean as I write this first!
More money pissed down the blackhole that is world government waste. They can’t even solve the present enormous problems living on Earth that billions call their home. Pure insanity as the common knowledge is that man has never been and cannot go to the moon, all a staged fabrication. Provide one fact that proves a moon landing that cannot be debunked. These lies from liars make my head spin, or is that the Earth spinning.
Some shortsighted replies, considering the medium.
Foolish, puny Earthlings! They don’t realize that it takes an equal amount of energy to raise a set mass whether they use this stupid contraption, their primitive rockets, or even a zirnik glart reactor.
Yeah, but it will be like room service.
Is that all you ever think about? Your stomachs?
I hope they send the ones with the big brains.
In a perfect (kawaii anime?) universe, a hamsterwheel could provide adequate torque, to shift the counterweights.