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The future is now, maybe
Posted: 20 March 2012

Or maybe quite soon. Or maybe never.

This review of 10 futuristic products, which are already happening, is quite interesting and fun to read. But there is one that I personally am not going to hold my breath for. The Space Elevator.

Besides the fact that Elon Musk is NOT putting any money behind it, the sheer improbability of the physics just make it look like perpetual motion - a nice idea, but really just impossible. I mean, did anyone factor in the weight of that 22,000 mile cable? Even if it was made of spider silk or carbon nanowires, the thing is still connected to earth, so it has that long column of gravity working on every inch.

Oh, but it's tethered to a geostationary satellite you say. Yes, which means that at about 20 miles up it is subject to howling jet streams of wind and is going to be flopping around like a fish. The stresses of being tethered to an orbiting anchor will be immense. The slightest degree of variation in that orbit will unleash insurmountable whiplash effects. And every other low-orbit satellite will have to dodge the cable hourly. At 25,000km per hour. On the plus side it will probably generate enough static to power ten cities.

I just can't see it ever becoming feasible. Unless we invent anti-gravity. In which case we won't need a space elevator!

10 Futuristic Products in Development Now
20 March 2012
The future is here, and it's filled with all of the mind reading, car flying, robot powered inventions you can imagine.
Doug Vining Japan is preparing for a test using micro satellites of a space elevator concept:
As cool as the idea sounds, I still don't think a space elevator is feasible. Perhaps it's a solution to a non-existent problem!
Posted: 10 September 2018 at 10:50
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