Could it actually happen?

23 09 2008

I couldn’t believe it when I heard it.  The technology is almost there, and perhaps less than a decade of focused research is needed to make it into reality.  The cost is surprisingly low, as far as national projects are concerned.  Kudos to Japan, the economic and scientific benefits will be absolutely limitless.

I’ve blogged on this before, but I never thought the US would have the political willpower to do something so bold.  I did not expect that another country would either, but I am pleasantly surprised that there is actually a movement afoot to do this.  It’s obviously still no where near an approved project, but the fact that people are seriously thinking about this means a lot.  Maybe I’ll see it in my lifetime after all.




2 responses

8 11 2008

I’m studying nanotechnology (just finished my 3rd year) and it seems to me as if the space elevator is as likely to happen as a cloned dinosaur. The largest nanotube yet made is only a few mm in length. The method of creating nanotubes is by arc discharge or laser ablation, or more promisingly, CVD and these reactions are not the easiest to control. There is also debate as to whether carbon nanotubes are even strong enough to act as a cable for the space elevator. I remain to be convinced. I suspect most of the nanotube research would be in more commercial applications such as field emission displays, or hydrogen fuel storage, than in creating longer and better nanotubes. At least, that is the focus at our uni.

4 02 2010

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