Space Elevators: An Advanced Earth-Space Infrastructure for by NASA, D. V. Smiterman Jr.

By NASA, D. V. Smiterman Jr.

What's an area elevator? an area elevator is a actual connection from the skin of the Earth to a geostationary Earth orbit (GEO) above the Earth .35,786 km in altitude. Its middle of mass is on the geostationary element such that it has a 24-hr orbit and remains over an identical element above the equator because the Earth rotates on its axis. The imaginative and prescient is area elevator will be applied as a transportation and software procedure for relocating humans, payloads, energy, and gases among the outside of the Earth and area. It makes the actual connection from Earth to house within the comparable manner a bridge connects towns throughout a physique of water. The Earth to GEO house elevator isn't really possible at the present time, yet can be an enormous suggestion for the longer term improvement of area within the latter a part of the twenty first century. It has the capability to supply mass transportation to house within the similar approach highways, railroads, strength traces, and pipelines offer mass transportation around the Earth's floor. The low power specifications for relocating payloads up and down the elevator can make it attainable to accomplish fee to orbit <$10/kg. the potential of inexpensive mass transportation to area makes attention of the know-how paths required for area elevator building vitally important this present day. The expertise paths are worthwhile to many different advancements and will yield incremental advantages as growth is made towards making area elevator building possible.

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78–92, 1985. 5. : NASA artwork by Pat Rawlings, Science Applications International Corporation, prepared during the Advanced Space Infrastructure Workshop on Geostationary Orbiting Tether “Space Elevator” Concepts, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, June 8–10, 1999. 6. : “The Tsiolkovski Tower Re-Examined,” Journal of the British Interplanetary Society, Vol. 52, pp. 175–180, 1999. 7. : “Space Elevators: Introduction to the Topic,” Unpublished presentation, Advanced Space Infrastructure Workshop on Geostationary Orbiting Tether “Space Elevator” Concepts, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, June 8–10, 1999.

Air Force tracks ≈8,700 objects 10 cm in diameter or larger that are orbiting the Earth. Of those objects, only 300 to 400 are operational spacecraft. The remaining debris is due to nonfunctioning spacecraft, spacecraft breakups, one known collision, and a few unknown sources. Figure 25 provides the relative distribution of known objects in Earth orbit from LEO to beyond GEO at 50,000-km altitude. Distribution of Objects in Earth Orbit 120 Inclination (deg) 100 80 60 40 20 0 0 10,000 20,000 30,000 40,000 50,000 Semimajor Axis (km) Figure 25.

SPONSORING/MONITORING AGENCY REPORT NUMBER National Aeronautics and Space Administration Washington, DC 20546–0001 NASA/CP—2000–210429 11. SUPPLEMENTARY NOTES This report is based on findings from the Advanced Space Infrastructure Workshop on Geostationary Orbiting Tether Space Elevator Concepts, managed by David Smitherman, Advanced Projects Office, Flight Projects Directorate, NASA Marshall Space Fight Center, Huntsville, AL. The workshop was conducted June 8–10, 1999. 12b. DISTRIBUTION CODE 12a.

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