Space elevators could be getting closer and closer

The idea of ​​a space elevator that connects Earth to space more directly and economically has fascinated scientists for several decades.

In fact, it is also part of some of the most unique ideas of the 19th century.

The main theory proposes a steel cable that floats in the orbit of the Earth, while the other end would be somewhere in outer space.

This idea, which would offer a new form of space exploration, would be closer and closer according to a group of scientists.

In fact, professionals claim that the technology to lift it already exists.

Simulation. Fake images.

“From a technical point of view, it is ready,” explains George Zhu, professor of mechanical engineering at York University and co-author of a new study on this topic.

“It only has minor engineering tweaks, and there is no fundamental difficulty in doing that.”

What does the study propose?

The work was published in Astronautics Act. The new proposal suggests that instead of the original concepts of using a single cable or lashing, there should be two connected, which can maintain opposing forces while transporting the load in parallel.

This mechanism addresses the potential risk of the cable moving or experiencing hovering due to the Earth’s rotational force, known as the Coriolis effect.

“Our idea is that when we join two lashings, one load will move up and the other load down, so the forces will cancel each other out,” Zhu adds.

“They stabilize and it’s more efficient, because you have a loop. You can go up and down at the same time ”.

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Scientists have already built this prototype elevator and the team in charge of the new design sent a version into space last year.

The idea of ​​Zhu and his team contemplates a kind of elevator that “floats.” The terrestrial end would be in the orbit of the planet, where gravity is no longer a problem.

The belt can be made from titanium and other types of steel that are already used in space science, while the length of the elevator could vary from a few meters to several thousand kilometers long.

“Because both ends float in space, the tension inside the strap is limited. The current material can withstand this tension ”, points out the researcher.

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