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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 bdunbar on 9/5/2006 12:03:55 AM , Rating: 2
The load goes up.

If you want to deliver it to LEO you push the cargo off above LEO and shape the orbit for your desired orbit.

GEO? Climb to GEO and .. let go. Presto you're done. If you need a different location at that altitude see above.

Want to toss a load right out of cis-lunar space to the Belt or Mars? Let it ride out to the end. The tip is going to fling you right out of our orbit. You'll want to let go at the right place and carry rockets to shape your final destination ...

RE: To where?
By rcc on 9/5/2006 3:33:19 PM , Rating: 2
This brings up an interesting question. Whether the velocity imparted at the space terminal end would be enough to actually leave earth orbit. I tend to think not.

Bear in mind that whatever is outside of Geosynchronous orbit doesn't just wander off, it just orbits slower than surface rotation, as orbits below that are faster,relatively speaking.

Perhaps someone would like to run the math.

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