Partial Space Elevator


Don't tether the Earth-facing end of space elevator: let it hang in the atmosphere, and arrive to it with less fuel.


The idea of space elevator is not new at all, but the consideration of not tethering one of its ends to Earth has not been widely discussed.

It's not new though: a paper of 2014 from Acta Astronautica has analyzed the idea of a space elevator with both of its ends hanging in space, and found that it might cut the costs of space travel to high orbit by 40 percent.

I think it's worth putting this idea down here, so that relevant projects could be linked to it in the future.


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2 つのポイント:

  1. 最も軽い部分、つまり先端部分を今すぐ展開し始めることができます。テザーに必要な強度は全長にわたって同じではありません。重量を最小限に抑えるために、テザーは地球の端に向かって先細りになり、先端が非常に軽くなる必要があります。したがって、すでに軌道上にある適切な静止衛星を見つけて、そこにテープ (テザー) を持ち込みましょう。

  2. すでに軌道上にある宇宙ゴミは、カウンターウェイトの構造に最適です。ジャンクを静止軌道に持ち上げるには、地表から持ち上げるよりもはるかに少ない燃料で済みます。

Two points:

  1. We can start rolling out the lightest part of it - the tip - right now! The strength required by the tether is not the same across its length - to minimize weight, it has to be tapering off towards the Earth's end, with very light tip. So, let's find a suitable geostationary sattelite in orbit already, and bring some tape (tether) to it.

  2. Space junk that's already in orbit, is great for the counterweight construction. It requires much less fuel to lift the junk into the geostationary orbit, than to lift it up from Earth surface.