The Space Elevator: What if we build an elevator to reach the space?

Photo by Robert V. Ruggiero on Unsplash

What is needed if you want to build an elevator for space?

Get ready, hold on tight, and turn up the music from the elevator to experience a new way to explore space.

You can forget about rocket launches since we will use elevators to reach higher heights within our tallest buildings, so, we can consider the possibility that these elevators take us higher, that is, to space. With this, we have to realize the price that it would cost us or if we have the necessary technology to make all this possible.

This is what would happen if we did some kind of project to build the elevator to reach space.

So, would you like to go on vacation to space and for an affordable price? There may be luck, because an elevator, even though its construction would be more or less expensive, could realize space trips eventually and at a fairly cheap price, something that opens the door to everyone for different opportunities.

Scientific studies tell us that different technological, political and logistical obstacles would have to be overcome to make all this possible. Here, the question is, is all this worth it?

Of course, it must be taken into account that each elevator must have both a starting point and a specific destination. So to make our elevator to space, we would first need to launch a satellite into the sky, this satellite will be the final destination of the elevator. But, you would have to look at the specific height that the elevator would have to reach.

Currently, the tallest structure we have in the world is the Burj Khalifa building located in Dubai, at almost 850 meters. So, for our elevator to be as successful as it needs to be, it should be approximately 36,000 kilometres high, which means it would have to be 40,000 times taller than any type of building at hand.

In addition to the need to leave our atmosphere, the main reason our elevator should be so high is that it arrives in geostationary orbit.

The geostationary orbit is the point where the natural orbit of an object will coincide with the rotation speed of the Earth and below it.

So if the elevator reaches this orbit we can make sure that the elevator egg will always remain straight, with this, our destination will not move with the launch.

The next step would be to lower the cable or the tape from the satellite. This cable is to be attached to the starting point within the Earth. When we already have the cable attached, we realize that it will be the way that the elevator will carry people or any type of load up or down.

If we could accomplish all of this with the necessary success and security, there would be a revolution within the space exploration industry. Currently, our means are rockets and they are still quite expensive.

Considering the prices currently in force, sending a 1 kilogram of something to space can cost us over 20 thousand dollars. This means that if we want to send a human being, it would cost 1.3 million dollars on average. After that construction, the cost of shipping that kilogram of something inside the elevator would drop to just $ 200.

If the space station is established at the top of the elevator, it’s a great opportunity to launch the special missions there, and the costs are not worrying, as they are involved in everything to do with propelling the atmosphere.

In addition to being a very easy way to travel, the space elevator opens up new energy possibilities. If we put solar panels on our tape, we can collect much more energy than Earth’s panels and they radiate from a new level very cheaply.

Of course, everything sounds very good in theory, but there are many obstacles. The main part is the tape that will connect everything. The characteristics of this tape are specific, that is, it has to be light, more stable than any other material that we produce at the moment and affordable. We have to wait for the correct material, that tape would break, this is something that would be very dangerous. If it breaks near the base, the force applied to the satellite will cause everything to be lifted into space. If the tape breaks at the top, it will fall enveloping the world and we are creating all kinds of space debris that can be very dangerous.

It is very tempting since everything can go inside the elevator space, but now, it would be better to wait until we have all the means so that everything goes well.