Latest By
Category:


Armor
Artificial Intelligence
Biology
Clothing
Communication
Computers
Culture
Data Storage
Displays
Engineering
Entertainment
Food
Input Devices
Lifestyle
Living Space
Manufacturing
Material
Media
Medical
Miscellaneous
Robotics
Security
Space Tech
Spacecraft
Surveillance
Transportation
Travel
Vehicle
Virtual Person
Warfare
Weapon
Work

"Cyberspace is a metaphor that allows us to grasp this place where since about the time of the second world war we've increasingly done so many of the things that we think of as civilization."
- William Gibson

Space Elevator (Orbital Tower)  
  A physical link between a point on the surface of the Earth and a satellite in geosynchronous orbit.  

Arthur C. Clarke was not the first person to think of a space elevator; however, he was responsible for introducing the concept to a far larger audience in this book.

"If the laws of celestial mechanics make it possible for an object to stay fixed in the sky, might it not be possible to lower a cable down to the surface – and so to establish an elevator system linking Earth to space?

"There was nothing wrong with the theory, but the practical problems were enormous. Calculations showed that no existing materials would be strong enough; the finest steel would snap under its own weight long before it could span the thirty-six thousand kilometres between Earth and synchronous orbit.

"However, even the best steels were nowhere near the theoretical limits of strength. On a microscopic scale, materials had been created in the laboratory with far greater breaking strength. If they could be mass-produced, Artsutanov's dream could become reality, and the economics of space transportation would be utterly transformed.

"Before the end of the twentieth century, super-strength materials – hyperfilaments – had begun to emerge from the laboratory. But they were extremely expensive, costing many times their weight in gold. Millions of tons would be needed to build a system that could carry all Earth's outbound traffic; so the dream remained a dream.

“Until a few months ago. Now the deep-space factories can manufacture virtually unlimited quantities of hyperfilament. At last we can build the Space Elevator or the Orbital Tower, as I prefer to call it. For in a sense it is a tower, rising clear through the atmosphere, and far, far beyond…”

From The Fountains of Paradise, by Arthur C. Clarke.
Published by Ballantine in 1978
Additional resources -

The first person to think of the basic idea was Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, a Russian scientist. Visiting Paris in 1895, the remarkable Eiffel Tower made him think about a spire that reached all the way into space. In Tsiolkovsky's vision, a "celestial castle" would be built at the end of a cable 35,790 kilometers long. This put the terminus of the structure in geostationary orbit.

Comment/Join this discussion ( 3 ) | RSS/XML | Blog This |

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Fountains of Paradise
  More Ideas and Technology by Arthur C. Clarke
  Tech news articles related to The Fountains of Paradise
  Tech news articles related to works by Arthur C. Clarke

Space Elevator (Orbital Tower)-related news articles:
  - Carbon Nanotube Ribbon For Space Elevator
  - Space Elevator Downer
  - Japanese Company To Build Space Elevator?

Articles related to Transportation
Calling Google's RoboTaxi
Hyperloop Transport Proposed By Tesla's Elon Musk
Evacuated Tube Transport Idea Is 200 Years Old This Year!
myTaxi iPhone App May Transform Taxi Business

Want to Contribute an Item? It's easy:
Get the name of the item, a quote, the book's name and the author's name, and Add it here.

<Previous
Next>

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

 

 

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

More News

NASA's Highway In The Sky For Drones
Traffic is everywhere.

Palcohol Powdered Alcohol - Try Or Ban?
'I had a small can of powdered alcohol disguised as tooth powder...'

pd.id Personal Drink ID Device Like Dune 'Poison Snooper'
'The jeweled hands clutching drinks (and the unobtrusive inspections with tiny remote-cast snoopers)...'

Monsieur Bartending Robot
'He poured the liquids into his maw...'

Cities Detect Gunfire Acoustics With ShotSpotter
'Sound trackers on the roof...'

Cruise Automation's 'Highway Autopilot' For $10K
'It cut her out of the stream of vehicles and reduced the speed of her car...'

Pengheng Space Capsule Hotel Staffed Entirely By Robots
'A planet-wide chain of hotels that specialized in non-human service.'

Electric Bacteria That Live On Pure Energy
'April 5, 1977; that was the night the waveries came.'

EXACTO Smart Bullet From DARPA
Nicely visualized in what 1984 movie?

Neural Implant To Treat Memory Loss
'You've got remote storage. How regular is the update?'

More SF in the News

More Beyond Technovelgy

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.