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1 (edited by Dr Damon Molinarius 2009-01-06 14:21)

Topic: Space exploration

Rather than continue in the 'India on the Moon' thread, I thought it may be sensible to open a new thread on space exploration.

I mentioned somewhere a while ago the space elevator idea.  Originally conceived in the 1890s, if this could be achieved, then space exploration would take a giant leap ahead, enabling materials to be lifted into low orbit quickly and cheaply, and the building of a space port and building yard for inter-planetary ships.

Well, some clever clogs has come up with a slightly madly ingenius idea of how to get centrifugal force to drive the elevator, rather than powering the lifts directly:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7792297.stm

More info on the space elevator can be found here:
http://www.spaceelevator.com/

And info on the 'X-Prize' competition for the space elevator is here:
http://www.spaceward.org/elevator2010

the trouble with our times is that the future is not what it used to be

Re: Space exploration

I'm all in favor o space elevators, sky-hooks and the like. The sooner we find a comperatively cheap way to get gear and people into space, the better.

Re: Space exploration

Aye, it's a good idea to have a special thread for all space news!

As for that space elevator, fascinating though it may be, I'm wondering whether it's practical and necessary enough to prompt its construction.

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4

Re: Space exploration

If it works it’s practical. If it’s practical its necessary.

No seriously, the largest problem with space travel right now is its costs. If a cheaper way to get goods and people into orbit can be devised then space exploration has been propelled for ward decades by that deed alone.

You will never come up against a greater adversary than your own potential

Re: Space exploration

Isn't commercial space flight on the rise? I believe that gentleman of Virgin Atlantic is planning to fly people into space soon.

Re: Space exploration

Yes, commercial spaceflight has arrived. However, it is not yet affordable for any but the richest of the rich. This is not too surprising, however, considering the fact that to go into space for even a short time you would need to undergo special training and conditioning. That is a lot more service than any airline provides.

Re: Space exploration

If only the world of Larklight was reality!

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8 (edited by Dr Damon Molinarius 2009-01-06 16:01)

Re: Space exploration

Jawa wrote:

the largest problem with space travel right now is its costs. If a cheaper way to get goods and people into orbit can be devised then space exploration has been propelled for ward decades by that deed alone.

Agreed!

The competition is hotting up, with NASA awarding two commercial companies contracts to supply the space station from 2016 (I think I posted on this previously)
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/28371103/

The space elevator would bring costs down of getting into space from around $2000 per pound to $100 per pound.

Current costs of building the elevator range between $15 and $20 billion.  To put this in perspective, it is currently costing the US around $12 billion per month to be in Iraq (or around $2000 per second).  So, for the cost of around 6 weeks in Iraq, we could have ourselves a space elevator big_smile

the trouble with our times is that the future is not what it used to be
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Re: Space exploration

I just could not resist this - the British are back in the space race:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/ … space.html

the trouble with our times is that the future is not what it used to be

10

Re: Space exploration

Well, now you're just one step away from the Moon, aren't you? tongue