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Take an Elevator to the Moon

Despite Curiosity, our space program has pretty much moved to private companies. Now there's a company that's trying to raise cash to build an elevator to the moon. They hope to have it ready in less than a decade.

LiftPort's Space Elevator Project is trying to raise $3 million on Kickstarter, and it's already gone past its $8,000 goal for the first phase. A space elevator could take robots, cargo and humans to the surface of the moon, and space tourist dollars could eventually make the project pay off.

On PhysOrg.com, Nancy Owano writes that "the LiftPort system would allow access to the lunar surface via a ribbon cable. (It) would first send a base spacecraft into orbit. A ribbon cable would shoot out towards the lunar surface, and a lander module would attach to the moon's surface. The lander would be drilled into the surface.

"The company plans to use the Kickstarter funds to create a floating balloon platform tethered to the ground, which will assist a robot to climb into the sky. According to company notes, 'the plan is to first build the "bot," then an indoor test rig. Imagine a vertical treadmill.'"

It sounds like something out of a science fiction novel (subscribers, use your coupon to get this beautiful hardcover for less than $5!), but the company is serious. Owano quotes LiftPort CEO Michael Laine as saying, "We will launch another campaign; and another, and another and another."



Wow! Arthur C. Clarke must be smiling...! If I remember correctly, he came up with the idea of space elevators in one of his works many years ago. Cool!

Science fiction writers are creators of the future...They dream it and plant the seed of creativity towards manifestation.

I got curious on how long it will take:
worlds fastest elevator: 1.010 m/min (meters/minute)
distance to the moon: 384.400 km (kilometers)
384400 [km]* 1000 / 1010 [m/min] = 380594 [min]

so it will take: 380594 minutes = 6343 hours = 264 days

Whitley, didn't you mention a device similar to this in your book Nature's End? Something that shot the passengers up into space, then brings them down to their destination, say from New York to India, then back again, using the rotation of the earth. I thought your idea was pure genius, and can't believe that a similar prototype hasn't been invented yet...

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