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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: Space elevators - A good idea but...
By Viditor on 9/5/2006 1:23:17 AM , Rating: 2
1.Well, this can be yet another space race - if US can do it so will other countries so their probably be several space elevators building. Every country will want their own space elevator

I would think so...and I think that's a good thing!
2. Weather - the elevator structure will need to protect the inter-structure ...the tunnel passage for the elevator. Winds, snow, ice, lightning, twisters...I dont know how an elevator could withstand a twister

It's not a tube, it's a cable with a sealed platform that travels up and down the cable. The current thinking is to use several strands of carbon nanotubes (molecular in size) strung together. The comparison to steal is about 100 to 1 in strength, so there doesn't need to be much surface area on the strands.
2. Weather - the elevator structure will need to protect the inter-structure ...the tunnel passage for the elevator. Winds, snow, ice, lightning, twisters...I dont know how an elevator could withstand a twister

Security - we dont want korean missles using space elevators as target pratice. I do not know how one could protect a space elevator but this issue has be solved

Funny you should say that...
Of course there's the doctrine of MAD to fall back on as well...

I think your next 2 points are based on the misconcept of a "tube" into space...

By Ringold on 9/5/2006 7:28:21 PM , Rating: 2
Allow me to interject a little new-world capitalism here:

If LiftPort makes this themselves, this is NOT necessarily a 'United States' space elevator. LiftPort exists, like all companies, to generate profit. It'd belong to the US no more than it would any other customer.

If they strike some kind of bargain, ie, the US government provides security and in return gets a discount or some degree of priority, that is one thing. But beyond that, it 'belongs' to LiftPort, and profit motive says it 'belongs' to whoever comes first with the fattest wallet.

“So far we have not seen a single Android device that does not infringe on our patents." -- Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith
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