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Friday, May 31, 2024

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Will Space Travel Be Easier Soon?

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Scientists have come up with a berserk 127-year-old idea that enables feasible transportation to space via an elevator. This planet-to-space conveyance method is a space elevator.

Wikipedia says the prime component of the space elevator is a cable, called a tether, that would extend into space from an attachment to the ground. This conveyance method would facilitate vehicles to travel across the cable from the Earth’s surface into orbit.

But the ideation of space elevators is not new. Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, a Russian physicist, was the first to present the idea of space elevators, which was taken as inspiration from the Eiffel Tower to build a transportation method that allows one to travel into space, as per Inverse.

Without the use of rockets, the space elevator would aid to launch astronauts and payloads into space with no major expense. Another merit of space elevators is that it would make it easier to set up space stations and build spaceships in the orbit itself rather than manufacturing and assembling each part on Earth and then launching them into space using heavy-lift rockets.

The tether for the space elevator needs to be both lightweight and durable. In addition, Kevlar, a man-made material can sustain a vertical length of 124 miles (200 km) before failing.

According to experts, the use of advanced carbon nanotubes (CNTs) can help to practically design the elevator. Though CNTs are also claimed not to be strong enough, they could be replaced with materials such as macro-scale crystal graphene, boron nitride nanotubes, and diamond nanothreads.

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