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Moon Cable Space Elevator is Possible- Let's Go Space Truckin'
Time is the Album. ELO is the Artist. So Apropriate
Moon Cable Space Elevator idea
Out of an inexplicably long chain of thoughts came the idea for an almost inexplicably long cable of possibilities. Since the moon faces the earth basically without rotary motion, wouldn't it be possible to balance a cable along the gravitational pull of both celestial bodies, creating an express-transit line for other to experience visiting the moon? Wouldn't it allow us to expand one of the greatest feats of man since biblical times?
The cable would orbit along the earth just as the moon does, traveling faster than the speed of sound. Linking up to the cable would require some tricky moves but nothing our technology can't already handle. The benefit of this alone would allow unbelievable travel along a pre-defined "train route" of the earth. It would be an awesome thing when the cable went over your house, even though it would have to be miles and miles above the surface. Just being in the atmosphere would create a constant sonic rumble that would be magnificent to behold.
The Itsy Bitsy Elevator Climbed Up The Moon Cable...
Cable - heavy - nanofibers. Yes, good show and all that rubbish, but listen up. I think we have a lot to learn from the old spider, designed by G- WHOA, DIAL IT DOWN TO 11! Never mind the designer argument. Don't get your panties all in a bunch over that right now.
The spider can create a lightweight strong line that, on a lunar scale, would make the project feasible. We just have to learn exactly how to make our own giant spider web spinner. If only we knew every engineering principle that went into the design of the spider, or even just the major ones, we could work around what we don't know and do it anyway, with prototypes, tests, and failures galore.
The cable could transport air, electricity, water, and capsules to a (Imagine Dr. Evil saying this) "Moon Base". The purpose of this "Moon Base" would be mostly for-profit entertainment. Part of the entertainment would be the mining operation where visitors to the "Moon Base" would dig out their own souvenirs. The eventual function of the "Moon Base" would unfortunately become military in nature. Like they teach in every academy, you're always better off if you control the high ground.
The cable would do what it's transatlantic predecessors did, make travel and communication less expensive. The added benefit of intra-earth supersonic travel just by "hanging out" on the earth-end of the cable makes the prospect more attractive. I imagine huge shuttles that rocket up to link to it and gracefully detach to land on another continent only hours later.
I imagine other parts of the cable harboring satellite service stations. These would be manned stations with all the tools necessary to repair satellites, clean scope lenses, and deal with the ever-increasing debris field. Somebody has to start cleaning it up.
Come On~ Let's Go Space Truckin' !!!
Is it feasible yet?
Let's start by calculating the basics of the moon cable. Assuming one material and creating specs. for the strength along the line we can know what overall mass, thicknesses and densities would be required. Also useful are the speed, what temperatures would the earth-end have to withstand due to friction? What force vectors of drag would act on the cable, and how severe would the bend be?
The less-obvious and even more-interesting calculations necessary for a feasibility study would include - at what altitude limit could the cable reach without contacting the surface of the earth? Where should the moon-end attachment be (if any at all) and what would the pattern of travel look like mapped across the earth? Is there any lingering unknown about gravity that could put a kink in the plans? And just how cool would the "Moon Base" be!
It's time to start considering it as a real possibility, who knows how soon we could have a ticket to the moon via inter-lunar cable. Maybe mankind really can top the Saturn V rocket which has to be man's greatest machine so far, who knows unless we run a true feasibility study.
Update April 2014
Saw a TEDx entitled "Space Elevator" that kinda nails it, have to share it here.
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