The Future for Space Elevators Essay

913 WordsJul 28, 20144 Pages
Jubin Shah The Future for Space Elevators: The Moon and Beyond An interesting concept, a space elevator from the Earth to the Moon, has been suggested since 1885, or perhaps even earlier (Soderman). Several countries, including the United States, have begun working on the concept with hopes of making it a reality. The NASA Lunar Science Institute, now known as the Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute, has noted that a space affiliate, the Liftport Group, is being funded through Kickstart to help finance the first step in building the space elevator (Soderman). The Liftport website describes their moon elevator project as follows: LiftPort’s proposed research will develop practical, near-term solutions for construction and expansion of a Lunar Elevator. The study will include characterization of materials; analysis of required rocketry and robotics; and evaluation of landing sites and methods of anchoring to the Lunar surface. Additionally, Ribbon spooling, infrastructure deployment, and micrometeorite mitigation techniques will be explored (Lunar). (Now) NASA has also has been instrumental in developing aspects of the moon elevator. Several years ago, NASA sponsored a million dollar contest for whoever could design the best mechanism to climb the elevator. LaserMotive won $900,000 from NASA's Centennial Challenges program for meeting the Level 1 standard of having their laser-powered robot climb a 900-meter-long cable suspended from a hovering helicopter in less than 7.5 minutes. The team accomplished that goal four times in the first two days of competition, the quickest being in 3 minutes and 48 seconds (Dunbar). Lasermotive displays their winning entry (Dunbar) Recently, International Academy of Astronautics (IAA), has predicted that a space elevator will be operational by 2025 and the only obstacles at this point is the

More about The Future for Space Elevators Essay

Open Document