The International Academy of Astronautics has just published its multi-year study about the Space Elevator (I first mentioned this study here). It’s conclusion was “Space Elevators Seem Feasible” and that’s, of course, good news, to all of us who are supportive of the concept. From the Press Release:
“Academy Concludes Space Elevators Seem Feasible”
The International Academy of Astronautics just approved this conclusion when it published the study report entitled: “Space Elevators: An Assessment of the Technological Feasibility and the Way Forward.” The report addresses the simple and complex issues that have been identified through the development of space elevator concepts over the last decade. It begins with a summary of ideas in Edwards’ and Westling’s book “The Space Elevator” (2003). Out of these beginnings has risen a worldwide cadre focused upon their areas of expertise as applied to space elevator development and operational infrastructure. The report answers some basic questions about the feasibility of a space elevator infrastructure. A preview of the main questions and answers shows the depth and breadth of this cosmic study.
- Why a Space Elevator?
- Can it be Done?
- How would all the elements fit together to create a system of systems?
- What are the technical feasibilities of each major space elevator element?
This study benefited from review and comments by numerous members of the Academy, as well as the International Space Elevator Consortium. The study could not have been completed to this level of detail without the timely and invaluable efforts of a diverse collection of experts from around the world who contributed not only their time and knowledge, but also provided material as well as their technical expertise for the study. There were 41 authors and five editors. The sponsors of this study report are: International Academy of Astronautics and the Heinlein Foundation Trust. To order a copy visit: www.virginiaedition.com or call (713) 861-3600. The prices are $29.95 for hardcopy and $9.95 for electronic version.
As noted in the press release, visit The Virginia Edition to purchase the hardcopy version or Amazon to purchase the Kindle eVersion.
What about space tethers or rotavators or momentum transfer electro-dynamic tethers.
They seem more feasible from a commercial point of view, (shorter distances, less weight, more robust against terrorism) Also they don’t have to be backed by nation state sized budgets since NASA has some very mature research in the area.
I suppose the prospect of several kilometer long tethers sweeping in from space might put people off but who flies that high anyway