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Space Elevators--Do They Exist?
Ms Sans Serif
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[quote:Dr. House:MV8xMzAzNjg1XzIxMzU4NTc0XzJBMjU2RDk2] They do not exist. If a "space Elevator" existed there would be a decent sized mass in geosynchronous orbit around the equator of earth. Armchair astronomers would have seen that through a low powered telescope, perhaps even through binoculars and attention would have been called to it to where the more serious amateur astronomers with larger optical devices would have focused their attention on it and would have made out the 'cable'. Currently the only material we have that could, possibly, be strong enough to make a space elevator is the 'Bucky ball' carbon atom called a fullerene. Fullerenes are a 'new' material that is adaptive nanotechnology. We are only now entering the area of practical application of nanotechnology. While we have had success in creating small fullerenes in the lab, we have yet to mass produce or make a fullerene that is useful in any practical technology. Do not be disheartened by this, during the next couple three decades do expect there to be an explosion of fullerene technology being used in lots of stuff. The glass company Corning invented a 'new' glass back in the 1930's-40's that has had no use until very recently. The 'rediscovery' of it (basically someone was sifting through old files) has lead to new experimentation to see if it can be used to make ultra-ultra thin screens/monitors for cell phones, TV's computers. The strength of the glass is such that a 1/4 inch frame less TV monitor may be on the shelf in the next 10 years. I mention this to point out that we humans do in fact return to old ideas and old 'finds' in order to apply to current (yet new) technologies. It is highly probable that a space elevator will be on the list of applications once mass production of the fullerene stars. [/quote]
Check out this promotional vid for one of the MANY companies that is working on prototypes of space elevators:
I remember reading Arthur C. Clarke's book "Fountains of Paradise" ages ago and figuring we'd have space elevators soon, but 25+ years later they still haven't figured it out?
Have they already put them into operation and hid their existence?
This idea occured to me while watching the interesting documentary "Moon Rising" where a graphic artists shows his retouched pictures of the moon and space from NASA.
His process reveals some interseting formations in space that seem to have ribbons extending down to the earth:
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