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Space Elevator
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Summary
For all those who fancy a vacation in space, here comes a concept straight out of a sci-fi book – The Space Elevator. The good news is that institutions like NASA and others have started looking into greater details about the possibility of humans taking an elevator and travelling 22000 miles into space. The overall scheme involves launching a satellite in geosynchronous orbit, lowering a cable to a sea platform and using the cable to carry people and payload. It will be powered by lasers situated on ground beaming wirelessly to solar cells. To fuel the imagination of people, NASA funded a competition in New Mexico to build and race space elevator prototypes. The concept of carbon nanotubes is being explored in a big way to facilitate the building of the cable for the elevator. Carbon atoms build a strong bond with the adjoining atoms due to a force called the Van der Waal's force providing great strength to the carbon nanotubes. According to Ray Baughman from the University of Texas at Dallas, “It’s a dream of the future but it is an achievable dream”.
Keywords: Space Elevator, NASA, geosynchronous orbit, carbon nano tubes, Van der Wall's force, Ray Baughman, MIT
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