Space Elevators: Yes, You Can Keep Snickering

Posted: August 14, 2010 in Uncategorized
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The space elevator idea has been around for over eight decades.

In those long-ago days, vaporware and unobtanium were just a gleam in eyes of engineering futurists.

Today, the space elevator is hardly closer to being a reality than it was when it was first envisioned but all that’s holding it back is..vaporware and unobtanium.

The first problem is materials.  I think we’re much more likely to have the ever-elusive “propulsion breakthrough” that’s always presented as the limiting factor for affordable space access.

One individual has estimated it would cost about $20 billion to research, develop, and build a space elevator.  I’d offer such estimates can be dismissed out of hand: how can you come up with an estimate that regards technologies, materials, and construction methods that don’t exist?

  1. […] The Stuff Space Elevators Are Made Of? Jump to Comments Maybe I was early in mocking the space elevator? […]

  2. […] if not chemical rockets, then what?  Graphene space elevators?  Rand holds out hope for competition and economies of scale and it’s true that quantity has […]

  3. […] Let’s just say the space elevator remains an interesting, and at this point, magical, idea. […]

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