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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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Propulsion tech more likely...
By vortmax on 9/5/2006 10:34:57 AM , Rating: 2
The space elevator is a neat concept, but based on what it would take to bring to fruition, it's 30-50 years out.

Now new propulsion technologies seem like a much more prudent way to spend research time and money. There's got to be some kind of propulsion (laser, nuclear, etc.) that will overcome the thrust-to-weight ratio.

Another idea (that is similar to the space elevator concept) is to have a propulsion device at the counterweight location that pulls the payload up from Earths surface. Wonder how that would work???




By splines on 9/5/2006 11:55:53 PM , Rating: 2
That's the skyhook concept, right?

Great idea, but I was reading that unless it was tethered to the ground (and thus a space elevator), it'd be spinning around the globe at supersonic speeds.

Feel free to correct me on that if I'm wrong though.


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