Going up! Japan to test mini 'space elevator'


The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© 2018 AFP

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.

Login to comment

The company has said it could use carbon nanotube technology, which is more than 20 times stronger than steel, to build a lift shaft 96,000 kilometers above the Earth.

Well and good, as many times technology developed in the space industry and like it or not, military industries as well, have brought countless benefits to the average person!

Just PLEASE don't expect the taxpayers to fund THIS project! We are in debt enough already.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

ISS orbits at around 400km. 96,000km is probably getting close to the moon. Where are they planning to put this lift, and what is it going to be used for?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

That's about 1/4 distance to the moon (avg). I'm not really sure what the significance of that distance is...

3 ( +3 / -0 )

"Where are they planning to put this lift, and what is it going to be used for?"

Simple click of the mouse, basic research you should have done yourself, prior to asking.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Practice that on Mars first, since the gravity is only 3/8ths of Earth. You screw up in Mars it hits the ground. You screw up on Earth it could land on people.

Put it into orbit and drop the elevator tube down to the ground, balancing and cantilevering the orbital component to make sure the whole thing stays in orbit as it approaches landfall. Then build it down or unfold it down to the ground. Either attaching new bits to the end using the elevator or unfolding a completed shaft from orbit. That's how I envision how a space elevator will be installed.

If they could make the carbon nanotubes from the carbon atmosphere on both worlds that would be an interesting idea as well but it might be even less practical than the above, which is saying a lot, but who knows.

Once a process is proven to work on Mars, then we'll be ready for an Earth installation. Install it near Quito, Ecuador since that would be a close equatorial city as well as saving a lot of material since it has a high elevation of 2,850 metres (9,350 ft) above sea level

0 ( +0 / -0 )

sf2k, yeah it has potential dangers like you said but as I'm sure you're aware...we haven't even been to Mars yet. Also I think that would be technology we'd already want available to implement on Mars right away to make transporting supplies (and what have you) easier and cheaper to and from the surface.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

sf2k, also I think Quito would be too earthquake prone and and subject to the whims of nearby volcanic activity in the Andes. If anywhere, it would go into northern brazil or somewhere in Africa. Keeping in mind also that those places are less affected by extreme weather events.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Sorry for my bad typing! Arrrggh! Not my strong point...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"It's going to be the world's first experiment to test elevator movement in space," a university spokesman told AFP on Tuesday.

A large segment of the population cannot afford beef, fish,fruits and vegetables and are going

by on moyashi, konyaku and cheap noodles yet there is money to waste on useless projects with

no benefit to the taxpayer but bragging rights that it is the world's first.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

What elevator music will be played? AKB?

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Electrical energy in the atmosphere will discharge down the cable into the ocean meaning currents of electricity. Without many insulated sections it will act like a lightning conductor. Also, if the earth & elevator rotates in relation to the earth's magnetic field this may induce more currents in the cable. Finally you have ionizing radiation in space which will damage most materials. The materials science has been proven using nanotube technology but the practical survivability of such a thing is another matter.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Maybe start with fully cleaning up and re-housing ALL people affected from nuclear meltdown in Fukushima area before wasting time/money on this new pet project.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

What about differential speeds of atmosphere layers ?

Once in space, where only void takes place, it is surely "easy" but frankly speaking, American would have tried this before Japanese. Or it would already be an international project.

Some possible technological advancements yet to achieve but surely to be limited.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The first country to use an elevator to put a lozenger into orbit? As above think there might be more beneficial practical things to do actually here. But sadly no.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

That's about 1/4 distance to the moon (avg). I'm not really sure what the significance of that distance is...

Geostationary orbits are achieved at about 36,000 km above the earth. So I guess that's where you'd put the motels, shopping centers, immigration offices, and the launch pad for Mars. Wikipedia tells me the additional height (i.e. up to 96,000 km) is to act as a counterweight. I'll let someone else explain how that works.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

So more like a "space dumb-waiter" then.......

1 ( +1 / -0 )

To stay over a spot on the earth, it has to be about 22,000 miles up, geosynchronous.

A counter balance will be necessary for the structure, but it doesn't have to be as long. It just needs to have a similar weight. Managing the forces, since it will need to be attached to the ground, somewhere away from everything else. After all, if it ever breaks, that could be 22K miles of heavy cable falling to Earth.

How long does it take to go that far? Commercial jets fly under 600 mph, so ... over 36 hours ... for a the full length trip. I suspect the cargo container will need to slowly build up speed and that less than 80 mph will work due to strength required and other frictional and wind forces. Some counteracting force will be necessary on the other side of the moment/fulcrum or perhaps a vertical jet/rocket to get the main thrust started.

ISS orbits between 200 and 270 miles, so some sort of transfer vehicle around 300 miles would make sense. That's just a few hours of travel time. A porta-potty will work.

There will be many unknowable engineering problems, but the math works. Crazy, right?

There is a more detailed description of an elevator of this type in the book Red Mars (Hugo winner), if you are interested. It is a very good book, BTW.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Stuck in the elevator would be a very long wait for the technicians to arrive.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites