A Space Elevator to the Moon Could Be Doable and Inexpensive: Study

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A Space Elevator to the Moon Could Be Doable and Inexpensive: Study


Scientists and astronauts have been able to reach the moon through rocket ships and satellites. Through those devices, we are able to collect information about our solar system and galaxy. However, researchers have found another way for us to get the moon: a space elevator.

The idea of space elevators is not a modern thing. Since 1895, spaceflight visionaries have been talking about them. Their idea was to create a system that could be used to carry humans and cargo from Earth’s surface to Earth's orbit. This is called the classical space elevator concept. It was also detailed by Jerome Pearson at a conference in 1977 and by Yuri Arsutanov in a separate paper published in 1979. However, is this even possible?


Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons


Recently, Zephyr Penoyre and Emily Sandford, researchers at Columbia University, revealed that a high-tech elevator that will provide transportation to and from the moon is technologically and financially feasible. Penoyre stated that he was surprised to discover that it is cheap, adding that the $1 billion it might take to build such an elevator “is within the whim of one particularly motivated billionaire.” According to All That’s Interesting, a site for curious people who want to know more about what they see on the news or read in history books, the researchers called their space elevator concept “Spaceline.”


Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons


Spaceline would be a thin, 200,000-mile-long cable attached to the moon, ending above Earth’s surface at around 27,000 miles above sea level. The simplest version of its cable might be barely thicker than the lead in a pencil and might weigh about 88,000 pounds. NBC News, the news division of the American broadcast television network NBC, reported that space travelers should be transferred to solar-powered robotic vehicles after flying from Earth to the end of the dangling cable. Then, they would climb up the cable to the moon. The trip might take days or weeks. 


Photo Credit: Futurilla via flickr


According to the researchers, Spaceline is more economical than spending hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars on rocket technology. 



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