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Comments on Carbon Nanotube Ribbon For Space Elevator
An amazing development - real hyperfilaments just like Clarke described for building a space elevator. (Read the complete story)

""And the Earth is clean as a springtime dream, No factory smokes appear, For they've left the land to the gardener's hand, And they all are orbiting here . . ." This is it. This could be our bright, shining, eon-spanning future, staring right back into our ugly faces. This is it. We need to do this right now, as soon as we can, while we've relatively cheap energy and petrocarbon to burn, because if we don't, we don't get a second chance. It only gets harder the longer we wait--it'll never be easier than it will be in the next ten years. Now get to it, NASA. Get to it, Rutan. To all the John Galts of the world, the dreamers and builders, the giants of our race...get off your butts and build us God's own road to the stars. Set us free, and see what free men can do. "
(Smiley McDeath 8/21/2005 1:27:07 PM)
"If we can do this, then we can eject our trash into space at a very high velocity, and hope it doesn't come back. After all the universe is supposed to be infinitly big!"
( 8/22/2005 10:30:19 AM)
"The best thing with space elevators, is that a lot of the neergy expended going up, could be retrieved as the elevator came back down, a linier track used as a motor on the way up, and as a generator on the way down, which would also introduce electromagnetic braking to the car."
( 9/12/2005 8:09:21 AM)
"OK! We now can produce a ribbon, so now we have to work on strength of the material in the ribbon until it becomes strong enough"
( 9/26/2005 7:26:39 AM)
"OK. I see what you're saying, but have we done breaking strength tests? If so, what are the results? What width ribbon would support a 22,000 mile length - or would it not? Give us some facts please."
(David T Jackson 4/17/2006 1:33:34 PM)
"OK, as a BSc (Combined Sciences) graduate - which means I don't know much about anything) - what's the breaking strain? What's the mass per metre? Would it at the moment support the necessary 22000 mile length? Keep us informed."
(David T. Jackson 4/17/2006 1:40:54 PM)
"I am waiting to take a trip up the tread. I do believe the technological hurtles can be overcome and the space elevator will become a reality."
(shaula359 6/2/2006 4:55:18 PM)
"I have been more than interested in space technology since the Sputnik era captivated my imagination at the age of 6, but I am certainly not qualified - but good common sense leads me to the following conclusions: Even a ribbon or cable made from super strong hyper filaments will suffer from the problem of diminishing returns, “mass exceeding the strength of a given material” The weight of a 24,000 mile long nano-tube composite ribbon will still be relatively massive and heavy, also the amount of weight that can be lifted will be limited to the amount of pull on the cable minus the weight of the cable. (In my reckoning the satellite “target” will need to be BEYOND geostationary orbit to generate a positive pull on the cable caused by centripetal force, in-fact many many tones pulling away from earth. Personally I cant see this working, the loads will be astronomical (excuse the pun) ! Can someone reply to me with “real physics”. Also if this is to really work effectively I guess the capsule should continuously accelerate keeping a uniform tug on the entire system and not stop at the orbiting tether, it should over shoot (unlatch itself before reaching the space-anchor) to enable it to travel on to its final destination(s) why waste all that kinetic energy?. If I remember correctly: the kinetic energy of an object is directly proportional to the square of its speed. Tony Hanscomb "
(Tony Hanscomb 6/2/2006 6:43:26 PM)
"I agree with Tony Hanscomb, the weight of a tubule 24,000 miles long seems unlikely to be formed so as to be able to sustain itself. It would buckle or break under it's own weight. However, many other applications seem plausible. I have many questions: Do tubules a few nanometers thick conduct material similar to tubule water transport pumps in plants? Would passive transport apply if the ends were open in various dissimilar environments? Would temperatures such as ultra-cold reduce transport action? Could speed of transport overcome and / or cause temperature problems? Would such 'invisible' threads, if accidently carried by the wind, or lost, cause problems with air travel, or in motors, or be harmful if accidentally breathed in? Is it's tension strength enough to cut through skin? Another crazy thought - if persons who have been through 'near-death' experiences, usually travel through a conduit of light, could such conduits be made of large invisible nano-thick-tubules? Could the bright light be a result of passive transport - from heaven? Could light passing through nano-thick-tubules accelerate transport speeds or allow for larger loads? Would high volume, high-speed transportation effect global warming? I find the idea of nanotube elevators quite intriguing."
(Karen Eddy 6/3/2006 5:12:54 AM)
"For more information about people actively working to build a functioning space elevator, see"
(Tom Hendrix 6/3/2006 3:16:25 PM)
"A Hoola-Hoop with internal magnetically suspended shuttles hurtling round the entire earth. Solar powered perhaps. There is no need to go out 22,000 miles! a couple of hundred or even less would be just fine & dandy. Just hoist up to the 'Hoola Hoop' and build another one further out. like Saturn's rings."
(Alastair Carnegie 6/4/2006 5:11:58 PM)
"Cool idea! I'm pretty sure that exactly this idea is used in the Starship Troopers movie. It is used by the Federation. But just think of the resources to create something 42,000 kilometers long!"
(Bill Christensen 6/4/2006 5:50:32 PM)
"like Edison and the light bulb we will find the right combination of elements that work!! bet on it!!!"
(skullstar 6/6/2006 2:06:01 AM)
"Thanks Chief & Skullstar, In 1983-4 at D.A.M.P.T. Cambridge, Uni. U.K. we were over the moon with Arthur C Clarke's Book. We had visions of Terrestial Eartbound Long bullet trains, Much like H.G.Wells Moonshot Gun. An evacuated tube, that pointed obliquely to the sky, the final accelleration up the side of a mountain perhaps, propelling cargo packages to escape velocity. At night far less than 75% of generated electricity does any useful work at all! We would have TerraWatts at our disposal. A bundle of tubes each equiped with strong permanent magnets, neccessary to drive the internal hoola hoop shuttles, could be arranged in this package to drive the launch into close earth orbit. With a suitable ablative front end nose cone to each package of tubes, The launch site might resemble a large machine gun firing 'tracer bullets' skywards. With the advance of Robotics, Earth based mechanics, seeing in real time, through stereoscopic vision, could collect, and assemble the first Hoola Hoop. Once that is assembled, The rest follows as a natural consequence. Now we construct people moving 'Bullet Trains' and train sized hoola hoops. A geodesic network of them. with space stations at each hub. An Otis Lift takes you up, board the bullet train for your destination, then cruise down to the airport of your choice on-board a re-entry vehicle. Robert McCall may be painting a vision of this as I write? Virgin Gallactic, are well prepared.This is one 'Dream' with legs and a bright future. 'Yoo' may see other large companies and corporations taking note and interest. Lets us all stay HOPEFUL."
(Alastair Carnegie 6/6/2006 4:09:44 AM)
"There is a flaw in the concept! The weight of anything on a nano rope elevator would pull the whole thing down because the forces are not there to counteract the donward pull! "
(JR 6/6/2006 3:28:35 PM)
"JR, the shuttles provide the centripetal force necsessary to counteract the weight, I never said nano rope, steel is a bit heavy, but there are alternatives. The proposal was for a geodesic structure in low orbit. Trisecting hub-points would carry the load. The structure could deform, a hub-point could raise or lower it's stationary orbit. depending on how bunched up, or spaced out, to coin a pun, these magnetcally driven shuttles were going. They clearly would need to go faster than the traditional 'escape velocity' as the centipetal forces would necessarily need to compensate for the stationary weight of the 'track' I could say all this in formal D.A.M.P.T. terminology, but most folk would not understand a word of it. As Walt Disney said, "If you can dream it, you can do it" "
(Alastair Carnegie, 6/7/2006 1:31:19 AM)
"Hi JR, Do you know of any folk that can read 'Chinese'? I keep getting these posts from accademics from China, I can read the maths bits, but not the Chinese! something about the Olympic Hoops, and the Chinese Moonshot, Could they plan to set up a practise Geodesic Space Hoist there? I wonder."
(Alastair Carnegie, 6/7/2006 2:05:58 AM)
"Dear Webmaster, Re:,_3rd_Duke_of_Fife and, Re:-"...He served as vice patron of the Braemar Royal Highland Society and of the British Olympic Association" I wonder why these old Cambridge Exchange Students from D.A.M.P.T. keep posting me this Chinese stuff? about Olympic Hoops? Geodesics? Hmmm! "
(Alastair Carnegie 6/7/2006 2:34:38 AM)
" All this sounds great but the big question is what's the motivation? Unless there is a profit of some sort to be made no ones going to do it."
(C 6/13/2006 6:08:53 PM)
"Oh! a P.S. 4 'C' check out NASA consultant, Dr. Adrian Berry 1974, 'The Next Ten Thousand Years' [Mankind's Future in the Universe] He Postulates that one possible answer to why there is so much 'Dark Matter' is that Folk with high intelligence, would be unlikely to waste good sunshine. They might capture all of it, i.e. suspend their Sun in the middle of a huge saucepan, name it the Starship Enterprise, and go voyaging round the cosmos."
(Alastair Carnegie 6/17/2006 3:20:24 PM)
"Hi 'Reality,' China produced over 350 million tonnes of steel last year, a third of global production. You mentioned weight, let's have a go. Remember Pi x Diameter = Circumference. pull a cable round the earth, the circumference of the earth at the equator is 24,902 mi / 40,076 km. and stretch it by 628.318 miles (Pi x 200 miles) i.e. 25530.318 miles and that cable is now 200 miles up in the sky. As two tracks are needed, just over fifty thousand miles of track, or 264 million feet. Gears and electric motors would be fine for climbing up any suspended cable 'Shepdog.' First there would need to be something for the cables to be suspended from. First let's put up a relatively light weight track, just to haul up the big stuff. Just for argument, say this track with shuttles combined, weighs in at 20 pounds a foot, for the dual counter rotating mini-shuttle trains. 'Action-N-Reaction' we don't want accelerating shuttles to induce a torque rotation.....unless we want one!...At the velocity these shuttles would be going, well above escape velocity, so that the centripetal force exerted by the internal shuttles carried the weight of the track, This track would be ultra stiff. Things going that speed don't take kindly to bends! That is 1.2 million long tons of track and shuttle needed to launch into space! In my view a Gun/ Long Bullet Train tube up a mountain incline, could launch those sections of track and shuttle, as discrete packages. As China alone now produces 300 times more steel per year!.... than would be required for this venture, I don't envisage a problem with lack of resources. We are talking the FIVE OLYMPIC RINGS HERE, so three more required to go the polar longitudinal route so as to trisect at the two polar ice-caps. Check out the 'Geodesic Ball' under the Chinese Lion's left paw, featured on the official Olympic Website! "FASTER--STRONGER--HIGHER" the Game's Motto, written ingeniously in Chinese Calligraphy. Nota Bene!.......... The vast hydro-electric project is due for completion soon. Plenty of power there to launch this track!.......Then the FUN really and truly begins. A lot of engineering to sort out, granted, This is an ideal subject for post graduate research. even undergraduate. The "LAWS OF MOTION" will determine the feasibility, combined with best engineering practice. Await the GAMES! at Beijing. FASTER, how fast? STRONGER, how strong? HIGHER, how high is an Olympic hoop? 200 miles high? or should that be ten marathons."
(AC 6/17/2006 6:59:10 PM)
""Unless there is a profit of some sort to be made no ones going to do it." OK, let's talk 'profit' C. The buzz word now is 'nano' and most aggree that small is beautiful. So let's go 'nano' and 'micro' Give or take the equator is 40,000 kilometers. Suppose seven strands of one millimeter diameter tube are fabricated, The inner core is the power supply, hence solid! Micro Shuttles pass in opposite directions through the outer six strands. Let us assume these shuttles are just a millimeter long, and 500 microns diameter. They are essentially just magnets. The fine one millimeter tubes are the propulsion track. Our computers now work at Gigahertz prosessing speed, an internal coil of one millimetre spacing with an applied alternating voltage/current at one killohertz will drive these magnets at one meter per second, a megahertz will drive them at a killometer per second...... ahem.... given NEGLIGABLE FRICTION, magnetic suspension, etc escape velocity is not far away! Do the sums 'C' I figure a few hundred tons of this cable would circumnavigate the Equator. This cable would be tighter than any bowstring, taught as a stretched piano wire! OK, where is the power coming from? Do the sums again, 40 million meters long, 3mm diameter for the seven strands. What surface area presents itself for 'Solar Power'? Call the effective 'Solar Cell'(thin film) 2.5 mm. i.e. 400 meters of taught cable presents a square meter of solar cell. 100,000 square meters for the entire cable, but most would be in shade! only a third aprox would be in full sunlight.i.e. 33,000 square meters. At 300 Watts per square meter. 10 MEGAWATTS! Now we have a very interesting profit motive. How much 'Satelite' communication gear , moble phones etc. (over 2 Billion of those) could work off ten megawatts? Not forgetting this taught stretched cable can 'dip' to within ten miles of the earth surface, as the micro-shuttles 'space out' the circle distorts to an elipse! then distorts back, carrying a load!....i.e. lift the next cable into orbit, those two lift the next two, etc. Did not the Inventor of Chess ask from the Emperor of China, one grain on the first square, two on the second, and so forth. ten iterations of that routine, we have a thousand and twenty four, over a million at the 20th iteration. 10 Million Megawatts? That's worth a candle! and should make someone a good profit!"
(Alastair Carnegie 6/18/2006 1:52:26 PM)
"Dear Webmaster, This is just to wish you and all your readers a very happy 230th Birthday, and all our prayers for the July 4th Shuttle Launch. Thank You America."
(Alastair Carnegie 7/4/2006 1:54:15 AM)
"I want to know how you will keep this thing in orbit once it is placed there. A 'hula-hoop' structure would be unstable in orbit, would wobble and eventually crash down into the Earth."
(harvey 7/15/2006 9:05:16 PM)
"On the assumption that this is built, what would be the consequences if some fanatic group would cut this ribbon ?"
(John Kent 10/2/2006 9:35:48 AM)
"The system of getting free energy out of the air like Tesla used in his Electric Pierce Arrow Car is also used by the Flying Saucer for powering and propelling it. That system was already discovered in 1967 and patented many years later. The Nasa Jet- and Rocket-Propulsion Engineers* touching $200-300K in the Cleveland Ohio Propulsion Lab are not interested, who who need them if we can fly to the Moon in an hour or so or to Mars in a day or so. I believe they tried the system (the invention is te Monopole HV Generator) three years ago and caused the big black-out, as they did not know about precautions to take. I am working now on the free energy system out-of-the air, which can also be used to give every dwelling on earth free electric power. Of course it will make jet-powered vehickles, including aircraft and the Space Station obsolete, as we can build a space craft the size of a football field, crew it with three or four hundred people like a Naval Ship and fly it to any Space Destination we want. And we will not be dependent on oil-price rip-offs anymore. Regards, JH "
( 10/15/2006 5:36:21 PM)
"where can we have more details about nanotubes used in the space elevator ??"
( 11/21/2006 8:06:49 AM)
"Maybe somebody has already commented on this, but the trick to building a space elevator is to use a tapered line. As the ribbon goes up, it's thickness is doubled at intervals such that the now thicker/stronger ribbon can support itself plus the thinner ribbon below. Then material strength comes into play as a measure of how often you need to double up the thickness of the ribbon as you go up. The drawback is that the ribbon's thickness is increasing exponentially to some degree (not quite, since the rising altitude is also coupled to reduced gravitational pull)."
( 5/25/2007 4:57:28 PM)
"Alastair Carnegie, the military police chaplain interested in building perpetum mobile of all sorts and sizes is a known blabber-moth with very little real knowledge, and leaves his voodo trace over any forum and blog possible. Just google the name and see for yourself"
(Zest 9/12/2008 6:57:51 PM)
"Thanks Zest, I appreciate the criticism. Check out Veljko Milkovic of Novi Sad, Serbia. He has constructed some interesting 'over-unity' devices. The 'Orbital Ring' concept can be found on Wikipedia. Quote:- "...The original orbital ring concept is essentially a variant of the space fountain and was explored in detail by Paul Birch and published in Journal of the British Interplanetary Society in 1982..." Humanity has always yearned for new horizons. I am an applied mathematician, and make no pretentions to be expert in other disciplines. I have checked the mathematics of Paul Birch's 'Orbital Ring' concept and within reason, it looks sound. Technology is going to advance exponentially over this next century. People of vision, should prepare the groundwork in advance, there is nothing to lose, and everything to gain from investigation. Every worthwhile invention has met with initial criticism. Progress is made when critics are ignored! "
(Alastair Carnegie 12/6/2009 7:37:27 AM)
"@Zest, A word; I actually love Science with all my heart, and I get as much pleasure, perhaps more! when I am corrected. Science is not static, 'written in stone' so to speak, it is 'fluid'. Dogma is the enemy of Science. I try my feeble best to challenge 'dogma' whenever I come accross the ugly beast. Anthropological Global Warming is a recent example of scientific dogma. The recent 'Climategate' controversy is good for Science, a welcome breath of fresh air! BTW. 'blabber-mouth' is the correct spelling, but as moth's are inclined towards the 'LIGHT'. I accept your intended insult with thanks!"
(Alastair Carnegie 12/6/2009 10:28:29 AM)

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