Space Elevator Using Nanotube! Really!

Hope the following link works!
The article is about a SPACE ELEVATOR using NANOTUBES.
I had never even heard of a nanotube until recently reading a thread on the board. Now, a practical use?
It seems pretty logical - and though a 7.5 day elevator ride up to space sounds kind of strange, it would make for a hellofa view on the way up!

Kim Stanley Robinson has a cool series of books (RED, BLUE, GREEN MARS) that uses this concept and includes the aftermath of a terrorist attack on the elevator. It ain’t pretty.

But its such a cool idea & promises so much … I hope it works out.

We might have te materials to have a space elevator but maybe not the materials to construct it.
Defense and weather would be major concerns.

They’re serious. Cool. :cool:
Thanks, DMark.

What would happen if the cable snapped at the top? middle? bottom?

At the bottom I would think hte space station would start to pull the thing up.

At the top I would think the space station would slingshot away while the cable fell down and made a really big wave - perhaps it would burn up on reentry.

Popular Mechanics did a piece on it a few months back, let me see if I can find it. Ah, yes, here it is.

Nice to see that someone’s tackling this!

I don’t see a General Question here, so I’ll move this thread to MPSIMS.

There was a long discussion about nanotubes and elevators about 6 weeks ago, including input from a Doper who used to work for one of the nanotube companies.

Not wishing to slow the site down with a search through two months, I’ll recapitulate:

There’s no indication nanotubes can any time in the near future get longer than an inch. Not nearly long enough to build an elevator.

There are also other potentially insurmountable problems with: collisions with aircraft, terrorism, the Coriolis effect, etc.

Net opinion: the article was a crock.

(And I thought the toll on the Lincoln Tunnel was high.)

Too bad it remains so infeasible. I guess it’ll remain for the Russians to take Lance Bass off the planet for a while, if he ever pays up.

Maybe we should pass around a collection plate?

How powerful would the engines on the space station at the top of the elevator have to be? If that thing can’t maintain geosynchronous orbit we’re going to have a really large piece of thread trying to wrap itself around the Earth.
Also, if the thing can’t maintain a level orbit above Earth, the weight of the entire thing will eventually pull the entire elevator down to Earth. How powerful do the engines need to be to keep it floating in space?

It doesn’t need engines. Centripetal acceleration is all you need. Once it’s up there, it will be held taught forever, or until it breaks.