LunarElevator8 karma2014-10-15 14:48:01 UTC
Dahami is PARTIALLY right. Yes, the materials is the MOST TALKED ABOUT, and certainly we can't build without the correct materials. But there are very very challenging questions is a large variety of fields: weather/lightning, legal/international law, theology, military doctrine, the endurace of the robots to climb 100,000km, attaching the Ribbon to the ship at sea, attaching new/additional ribbon to the initial threads so that you can build this system incrementally.
In truth, there are lots and lots of problems. We call the database for this "1kQ" which is shorthand for "one thousand questions". And I commonly say: "We don't even have all the questions, yet, let alone have all the answers." But we will...
We divide the problem sets into the following categories called "The Four Pillars of Infrastructure Development":
o Science / Discovery
o Technology / Engineering
o Production / Scaling
o Strengths / Weaknesses
o Finance / Accounting
o Operations / Management
o Media / Social
o Education / Culture
o Political / Government
o Legal / Insurance
o Regulatory / Policy
o Environment (Geopolitical) / Military
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LunarElevator7 karma2014-10-15 14:28:41 UTC
There are two documentaries. Skyline focuses on the global (but mostly American) effort to build the Earth's Elevator. I believe they will profile some of the Japanese folks - but I'm not certain of that. On the other hand, Shoot the Moon is targeting LiftPort's Lunar Elevator exclusively.
Both will be good! And both are important!
LunarElevator7 karma2014-10-15 14:25:16 UTC
Lots of questions here! ;-)
1) Some folks (like me) say 2035, others 2050. The Lunar Elevator is possible within 10 year! My friend, and technical advisor, Dr. Pete Swan lead the international team on this study: http://www.virginiaedition.com/media/spaceelevators.pdf It gives a pretty complete rundown on the timelines.
2) the Lunar Elevator will touchdown a "Sinus Medii" in the dead-center of the Moon (if you were standing on Earth, looking up.) The Earth's Elevator will be on a ship. Most likely, this ship will be in the Pacific, on the Equator, directly south of San Diego, and directly west of Quito Ecuador.
LunarElevator6 karma2014-10-15 14:39:12 UTC
If you're tackling a Reddit AMA, I'm pretty sure you're not a dummy. ;-)
There are two projects, Earth's Elevator and the Moon's Elevator.
First, Earth: Imagine you have a ball on a string, swinging over your head... the string stays straight, right? So, let's further imagine that this string is extraordinarily long and strong, and goes out into space. Instead of a 'ball', let's attach a satellite to act as the counterweight. Instead of 'you' swinging the string, let's let the Earth's centripetal acceleration spin. That keeps the string straight. Once you've done that, you can use a robot to climb up the string, to space.
Second, Lunar: A little harder to explain in this forum, but I'll try. There is a gravitational balance point between the Earth and Moon, called EML1. Anything on one side falls to Earth; anything on the other side falls to the Moon. We will drop a string down the the surface of the Moon, attached in the lunar regolith (dirt) and pull that long, strong string through the EML1, so that the counterweight is on the Earth's side, and Earth's gravity pulls the system tight. You'd then launch a rocket from Earth to the Lagrange point, and use our Elevator to climb back and forth from EML1 to the Lunar surface.
Our lunar system is here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTYRuIKdVbzBtMccxxz8y3g
LunarElevator6 karma2014-10-15 15:16:04 UTC
I don't know? Do you eat well, exercise? :-) Some folks (I don't agree) think that the price for using the Elevator will come down to $400/lb in the early days. But the almost magical thing (actually, it's economies of scale) about the Elevator is that you can use the first to build the second - bigger - one. And you can use the second to build the third - even bigger, etc., etc.
If that's true, than some folks argue that pricing for the Elevator could drop to $2/lb for the 4th or 5th generation system. So the real question is, do you take care of yourself and how long will you live?
Yes, I think EVERYONE should be able to go to space. EVERYONE.
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