A Space Elevator Might Be in Our Future


Kurzgesagt – In a Nutshell

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The year is 2049, and you are on vacation to go to Japan. You have heard of a space elevator, but you didn’t really consider it, because it seems like an absurd idea that will never come to life. Your room is at the very top of the of hotel, but you notice that a long tube is blocking what should be your beautiful view. You head downstairs to complain, but they say that they can’t do anything about it. You head outside to complain to them, but you stand still in shock when you look at this monumental sized tube that stands in front of you. You buy tickets for a one day trip in the elevator and you can’t stand the wait. You finally get on to the elevator and the steward leads you to your room. It is a large room with a large window and scattered soft furniture throughout. All of a sudden a speaker comes on with a man saying, “this trip will be about 7 hours. Our peak height will be just out of the atmosphere. Once we are parked at the top, everyone may leave your rooms and walk to the observation deck.  You start walking to the observation deck and you almost pass out because of beautiful view. One thought is going through your head, this is the greatest thing that has ever happened in my life.

So, what exactly is a space elevator? To oversimplify, it sends materials, objects, and maybe even people to space for a much cheaper price than traditional rockets.  Many countries are taking account of the benefits of a space elevator. Countries like Japan and China have confirmed they were going to build one in the future around 2050 because of all the benefits from the project.

There are countless benefits that come with the space elevator such as up to a $100 billion dollars cheaper than a normal rocket, saving about $9,950 per pound. This means that though the cost for building this might be extremely high, but it would quickly pay itself off of the 400 million dollars it would cost to make it. It would also make space travel much more accessible because it would be connected to the ISS or the International Space Station, which is where almost all space travel takes of from.

A space elevator is very complicated on how it works. It relies on tension to stay up, and would need to be over 22,000 miles long, and will rely on the geostationary orbit, which is why it must be so long. The geostationary orbit is the only way it would stay in the air, and keeps it in the air by using the tension that is pulling it up, and the tension that’s pulling it down, just like a game of tug-of-war. If one side stopped pulling, then it would either float away of into space because there is nothing to hold it down to Earth, or it would all come crashing down to earth because it had left the geostationary orbit.

Space elevators are very expensive, confusing, but very profitable and energy efficient.You are able to save almost $9,950 for every pound you send you send to space. It requires geostationary orbit to stay in space, and a strong base to stay on earth to stay attached. But when this space elevator is completed, this might make space travel much more common.