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Courtesy LiftPort Group
The LiftPort Group has a bold and interesting plan -- to build a massive space elevator before 2020

The LiftPort Group has completed a second round of testing on a prototype space elevator platform that stretches a mile into the sky, which allows a robots to climb and descend the ribbon that is between the two platforms.  The LiftPort Space Elevator would allow a revolutionary way to get cargo and supplies into space -- using a cable thousands of miles long tethered to  an object in geosyncronous orbit.  The company hopes to build the space elevator by the year 2018, but the task will obviously not be easy.  The observation and communication platform that robots climbed is properly dubbed HALE, High Altitude Long Endurance.  HALE was secured in place by several high altitude balloons for over six hours.

The ribbon that will hopefully stretch 62,000 miles from Earth into space will be made of carbon nanotubes weighing less than 1.5 pounds per mile.  Although initial testing was done in Arizona, the space elevator will likely be anchored to an offshore sea platform that will be located somewhere in the Pacific Ocean.

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Date of completion
By smitty3268 on 2/16/2006 3:23:28 AM , Rating: 2
The company hopes to build the space elevator by the year 2018,

Only 12 years away? I don't think there's any chance it will happen that quickly, but this does make me think there might be one in 30 years. Cool. Now my question is, what happens during a hurricane? It seems like strong winds could seriously affect the stability of the station in orbit, and could knock it out of geosynchronous orbit fairly easily. Maybe rocket thrusters are more than enough to compensate though.

RE: Date of completion
By smitty3268 on 2/16/2006 3:26:46 AM , Rating: 2
Hmm, now that I think about it winds would only accelerate or deccelerate the orbit a bit, not move it into a completely different orbit. So not a big problem after all.

RE: Date of completion
By AppaYipYip on 2/16/06, Rating: 0
RE: Date of completion
By goku on 2/16/2006 7:10:44 AM , Rating: 2
Who said this was going to connect us to the moon?

RE: Date of completion
By oTAL on 2/16/2006 12:49:56 PM , Rating: 2
*lolol* He actually thought the counter weight depicted in the drawing was the moon.
I'm trying to contain the laughter in a lab full of ppl...
Damn... they're all starring at me....

RE: Date of completion
By SGTPan on 2/16/2006 8:13:04 AM , Rating: 2
Lol, no what was funny is that you thought the counter weight was the moon! Sorry I'm not trying to be an ass here, but the moon is a little farther than 62,000 miles away.

RE: Date of completion
By SGTPan on 2/16/2006 8:13:52 AM , Rating: 2
Lol, farther... further. Seesh, its too early.

"There is a single light of science, and to brighten it anywhere is to brighten it everywhere." -- Isaac Asimov

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