space elevator

A space elevator is a proposed type of space transportation system. The main component would be a cable (also called a tether) anchored to the surface and extending into space. The design would permit vehicles to travel along the cable from a planetary surface, such as the Earth’s, directly into space or orbit, without the use of large rockets. An Earth-based space elevator would consist of a cable with one end attached to the surface near the equator and the other end in space beyond geostationary orbit (35,800 km altitude). The competing forces of gravity, which is stronger at the lower end, and the outward/upward centrifugal force, which is stronger at the upper end, would result in the cable being held up, under tension, and stationary over a single position on Earth. With the tether deployed, climbers could repeatedly climb the tether to space by mechanical means, releasing their cargo to orbit. Climbers could also descend the tether to return cargo to the surface from orbit. –Wikipedia

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story using a space elevator as part of the setting.

Journaling Prompt: If there was a space elevator today, would you be willing to use it?

Art Prompt: Elevator into space

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the different ideas people are working on to travel into space.

Photo Credit: Bruce Irving on Flickr

2 Responses to Prompt #1699 Elevator into Space

  1. Bill Kasman says:

    The idea of this space elevator has been mooted several times and it’s an interesting idea but at our present level of technology it’s not going to happen. The problem lies in the tensile strength of the cable. Materials science hasn’t (yet) given us a material which won’t break under its own weight long before it can reach a receiving station in a geostationary orbit.

    Mind you, I can see the possibilities of a space elevator as an SF story and indeed quite a few have been written but, as far as I’m aware, none quite explain how the basic problem of tensile strength of the tether is overcome.

    Still, it’s an intriguing concept and perhaps one day it will become reality.

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