Monday, October 03, 2005

going up?

A space elevator would consist of a cable attached to the surface and reaching outwards into space. By positioning it so that the total centrifugal force exceeds the total gravity, either by extending the cable or attaching a counterweight, the elevator would stay in place geosynchronously. Once sent far enough, climbers would be accelerated further by the planet's rotation. This diagram is not to scale and comes from Wikipedia, as noted and linked in post
On a lighter note: While reading Worldchanging, I ran across this article on the Space Elevator. I've loved this idea since reading Arthur C. Clarke's Fountains of Paradise, and Clarke has lost none of his enthusiasm either. And it's not as crazy as it sounds; check out the Wikipedia entry for it.
Understand this. If you want to get out into space, and you're not an astronaut or a millionaire, this is your only hope. Rockets are entirely too expensive, but a space elevator, once built, would take only a bit of electricity to make the trip. Just like the Internet or the Interstate, the infrastructure is the hard part. Everything else is easy (and democratic).
The company doing this work right now is called Liftport.

1 comment:

Ariel Boekweg said...

I would like to thank you for you interest in liftPort and the space elevator. My name is Ariel Boekweg I am currently help working on the space elevator, and I would like to invite you to join our newsletter at If you choose to join it would be great if you would email us and tell us about it at
Thanks for your time, Ariel Boekweg