Space Elevator – Dream High Above The Clouds

Mankind has always been fascinated by the heights. From the very beginning when we were surrounded just by nature, people have yearned for heights. No matter if it has shown as a look to the sky or climb to the tree, our heads has always been lifted up. The more we developed our tools and utilities, the more we built, and our imagination has become limitless. We began to dream high above the clouds.

  Reach the stars safely

Recently, the Canadian space and defense company, Toth Technology Inc has published video animation, named TothX spaced elevator. In the animation, they presented a ThothX tower, tall 15km with the hotels and an observation deck on its top. They used spiral elevator mechanism as the most effective bi-directional travel up and down a space tower. This particular technology offers reusable hardware, which reduces more than 30% of the fuel. The tower itself generate renewable wind energy and communicate over a wide footprint. President and CEO of Toth Technology, Caroline Roberts pointed out her happiness for the development of this revolutionary technology, which can provide humans to reach the stars safely. The company also offered an affordable price for this adventure – $2000 to ascend the full elevator. They got patent protection for their space elevator technology and announced their plans to construct the tower over the next decade.

Image Courtesy: ThothX Space Elevator
Image Courtesy: ThothX Space Elevator
Image Courtesy: ThothX Space Elevator
Image Courtesy: ThothX Space Elevator

Origins – An Eiffel Tower as an inspiration

As mentioned earlier, people have always dreamed to reach the highest level. Although the TOTHs project Space Elevator is brilliant, the idea itself has origin far away in the past. It all starts in 1895 when Russian scientist, Konstantin Tsiolkovsky presented the key concept. He was inspired by the Eiffel Tower in Paris. At that time, the idea sounded like a science fiction, but it did not prevent Tsiolkovsky vision of a “celestial castle”. His main thought was to build a tower that would be reached a height of the geostationary orbit. In another word, it would reach the alttitude of 35,790 kilometers. The problem with this concept was the structure. This one was, so called, compression structure and it has been proven as unrealistic to build. Half century later, another Russian scientist Yuri Artsutanov, propose more feasible idea. He suggested the use of artificial satellites in geostationary orbit, from which could put down the structure to the Earth.

Image Courtesy: Liftport

The one who is fully popularized this idea was the famous sci-fi writer Arthur C. Clarke. He described space elevator in his novel The Fountains of Paradise.  Further, through the book he presented ideas in which are changed the outdated rockets for the space elevator and make space travel available and affordable for ordinary people.

Modern concepts

In nowadays concepts the main components of the space elevator are:

  1. The Tether – this is the “pillar“ of the elevator, that streches abour 100,000 km in the Currently, the best material for building it is carbon nanotubes.
Image Courtesy: Liftport
  1. The Ground Station – It is planned to be located on the equator or very near the The station is designed for loading and unloading and serves to anchor the Tether to Earth.
Image Courtesy: Liftport
  1. The Counterweight – Serves for stabilization of the Tether. It should make the Tether taut by using a large mass.
Image Courtesy: Liftport
  1. The Climbers – elevator „vehicle“ that carry the cargo and humans into orbit.
Image Courtesy: Liftport
  1. The Power Sources Of The Climbers – using of renewable energy, it is a combination of lasers and sun which illuminate solar cells on the Climbers

In July 2008, a group of experts and enthusiast formed first official space elevator community, named International Space Elevator Consortium (ISEC). They are composed of two communities the Japanese Space Elevator Association and EuroSpaceward. ISEC lead development, construction and operation of a space elevator, and popularize the space humanity travel.

In order to make this futuristic concept closer to all people, Skyline team filmed a documentary in which they explained the advantages and disadvantages of the project as well as all obstacles that are still in front of us.

Finally, do we dream too much to touch the stars or this ride high above the clouds could be achieved? If we remember homo sapiens who invented fire, or James Watt with his steam engine, or even Neil Armstrong’s walking on the Moon, we have the right to hope and never stop trying.
References: ThothX Liftport