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The American space agency is hosting a competition in which a number of entrepreneurs will be showcasing a variety of interesting creations

A National Aeronautics Space Administration competition will draw a number of international scientists to the New Mexico desert for them to unveil a number of different revolutionary projects. The overall goal of the NASA contest is to build some form of a space elevator that would hopefully one day replace expensive rocket missions. Even though the idea of a space elevator constructed out of a long enough cable to lift men and goods into orbit seems a bit outlandish, the entrepreneurs realistically believe it can be done.

University researchers, several corporations and scientists from several countries will test their devices to at the competition next month. Over $400,000 in cash prizes will be made available to the winners to the contests.

The LiftPort Group is one company that has openly stated its intentions of constructing a space elevator . LiftPort announced last month that it has completed a second round of testing on a prototype space elevator platform that stretches over a mile into the sky. The space elevator it hopes to construct would span over 100,000 kilometers. The company will be represented at the NASA challenge next month.

Even though a proper space base hasn't been constructed on Mars, some experts are hypothesizing about the ability of building a space elevator on the red planet. The 24 ½-hour days and proper atmosphere makes it an ideal location for a space elevator. Many scientists cited by the group agree that interested parties should first build some sort of elevator off Earth before even mentioning Mars.



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RE: To where?
By PrinceGaz on 9/4/2006 8:26:36 PM , Rating: 3
It can work, but it will require a large initial investment of funds to get a sufficiently massive anchoring point and attached by a strong enough tether. After that is done it is plain sailing as anything you can send up can be accompaned by enough fuel to ensure the anchoring-mass is kept moving at the correct velocity.

Unless we destroy our planet before then or unless we develop some revolutionary form of propulsion that bypasses gravity, we will need to use a space-elevator of the type mentioned here and proposed by sci-fi writers for decades. It's just common-sense; why use a large amount of energy escaping the Earth's gravity each time when a one-off investment in the elevator provides unlimited launches.


RE: To where?
By saratoga on 9/5/2006 6:05:38 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
It can work, but it will require a large initial investment of funds to get a sufficiently massive anchoring point and attached by a strong enough tether. After that is done it is plain sailing as anything you can send up can be accompaned by enough fuel to ensure the anchoring-mass is kept moving at the correct velocity.


No it doesn't. You can push a counterweight away from earth using an electric motor, must like a conventional elevator raises one weight while lowering another. In theory, no fuel at all is required, but in practice some will be needed to overcome drift, drag, etc.



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