Space Elevators and Rockets

Space Elevators and Rockets

SpaceElevators and Rockets

Advantagesof Space Elevators over Rockets

Thereare varied advantages that space elevators incorporate. First, theywould reduce the cost of carrying loads from earth to space from thecurrent $20000 to $500 per kilogram, which means that it would becheaper to transport loads into space. Further, space elevatorsreduce the environmental damage that is propagated by the chemicalrockets since they would be electrically powered (Fleming 4).

QuestionB

Theleading contender for building the structure is a cable that is madeof carbon nanotubes (CNTs) that are lab-produced, with 63 gigapascal(GPa) tensile strength. Presently, it has been stated that thestructure needed to build the elevator would have to be more thantwice the circumference of the earth, as well as have the capacitysupport its own weight, something that is yet to be achieved. Such acomponent would need to be flexible and strong, as well as able towithstand incredible array of forces (Fleming 10). It also must becapable of withstanding thermal fluctuations, radiation and meteordamage. As much as there is yet to be any such structure, UnitedStates researchers have developed a diamond-like nanothread materialthat is believed to have sufficient strength that would enhance thefeasibility of the construction of space-elevator in this lifetime(Fleming 7).

QuestionC: Viability of the Concept

Apartfrom the huge engineering challenges, there is the question onwhether the project is viable enough as to be funded by thegovernment. However, the project should not receive governmentfunding given that the required funding is well more than $100billion. It should be noted that the financial investment needed forsuch a project cannot be accurately predicted, not to mention thefact that the returns are yet to be determined.

WorksCited

Fleming,Nick. Should we give up on the Dream of Space Elevators? BBC Future.2015, Web retrieved from &lthttp://www.bbc.com/future/story/20150211-space-elevators-a-lift-too-far&gt