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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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weight
By Murst on 9/5/2006 1:24:51 PM , Rating: 2
I wonder how much a 80k km cable, strong enough to lift a 500kg satellite, would weigh. Or how much space it would take up..

I doubt any form of transport we have currently would be strong enough to lift it in even 1000 pieces. Not to mention the problem of actually creating connectors which can withstand the weight of what's below.

The project would dwarf the ISS in size.





RE: weight
By bdunbar on 9/5/2006 5:15:43 PM , Rating: 2
If you would read the source doc I posted the link to above - Dr. Edwards NIAC paper - you would discover the estimate is 4-6 trips by Shuttle. More, of course, for a Delta IV rocket since Shuttle is all but out of business.


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