[ExI] Inflatable tower could climb to the edge of space

spike spike66 at att.net
Sat Jun 13 20:56:36 UTC 2009


> -----Original Message-----
> From: extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org 
> [mailto:extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org] On Behalf Of 
> Tom Nowell
> Sent: Saturday, June 13, 2009 11:47 AM
> To: extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org
> Subject: Re: [ExI] Inflatable tower could climb to the edge of space
> John Grigg wrote: "I love the roleplaying game "Transhuman 
> Space."  It is set about 90 years from now, where space 
> elevators are a common thing.  The scenario given is that the 
> U.S. and China are the key players in space.  But that the 
> Chinese were more willing to settle large numbers of people 
> on Mars who put down roots, therefore China tended to 
> dominate The Red Planet, to the great consternation of the 
> United States."
> Sorry to up the pedantry quotient of this list even further, 
> but in THS the only operational space elevator is on Mars...

I did the calcs on that years ago and convinced myself we would have a Mars
synchronous cable a century before we had one like it on earth.  The
engineering problems are that much more complex here.

> hooked up to Deimos, with the flexible cable bending slowly 
> to dodge Phobos...

Bzzzt.  A first vibration mode doesn't solve that problem.  It helps, some.
AC Clarke suggested it as a way to avoid low flying satellites, but Phobos
will need to be disassembled.

>  In Latin America, Ecuador is very equatorial (as the name 
> suggests), and Cotopaxi (5896m) is just south of the equator, 
> and Chimborazo (slightly further south) is 6267m tall! 
> However, I'm sure these are volcanic peaks and I can't 
> remember how dormant they are. Peru's mountainous parts 
> extend south from 5 degrees. 
>  I'm sure for all these some space elevator enthusiast has 
> listed the pros and cons... Tom

Thanks Tom! good thinking.  I have a calculation experiment to do, one that
might make an interesting paper for the Society of Allied Weight Engineers.
If Keith tells me the power station must be in an equatorial orbit, which I
suspect, then what is the trade-off?  If we go a degree off of the equator
in order to get another couple hundred meters of altitude initial, is that a
good trade?  How many meters of extra altitude equals a degree of latitude?
Anyone want to guess?  Shall we have a mountain pool?  Somewhere on this
globe is the single best mountain to build a launch tower.  

Last time I looked at this, I saw one particularly appealing mountain in
South America, about four or five degrees south latitude as I recall.  But
now I am thinking there might be a big advantage to setting this thing in
Africa: less air traffic, and also we could then have a good reason to pump
a bunch of money into there, which would help the people who really could
use the jobs and money coming in, and all those educated people from all
over the world to serve as examples of how to live and how to build stuff of

But not now, I have a birthday party to attend.  The Lilliputian Lad turns


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