The Space Elevator in the Earth’s Atmosphere

Dr. John Knapman give a presentation on how we deal with the Tether and the Climber within earth’s atmosphere.  Even though the distance of this portion of the trip is tiny compared to the total trip (~50km vs 100,000km), there are many “special” hazards which must be dealt with.  This consists of weather; wind, rain and lightning.

John discussed “Spring Forward” (winding up the tether at the ground, stretching the tether, attaching the Climber and then letting the tether “spring” back into its original shape), “Boxed Climber” (having the Climber packaged in a protective box for its journey through the atmosphere) and High Stage One (a structure built to have the elevator base station be above the atmosphere and thus bypass these problems altogether).