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Space Elevator Faces Criticism

Elevators are a major part of everyday life for many people, especially those who work in high rise buildings or have a disability that affects one’s ability to ascend stairs. For everyone else, elevators still have a profound effect on the way we travel, even if we only use them once a month. Whatever your relationship with elevators, you may think that they will change over the years with the advances in technology getting more and more advanced.

That assumption may go beyond topics like double decker elevators and enhanced lift systems like we have mentioned in this blog. Many think that elevators have the ability to one day travel between this world and the space outside our atmosphere. This is nothing new to readers of this blog, who have read about annual space elevator conventions. Before, this idea seemed like a pipe dream, but now many people are asking the tough questions.

According to a story from PCWorld, the most recent convention experts were hit with some big questions:

“Might solar energy provide the power needed to send cars up a space elevator? Could you build one fat elevator and split it into two? Can as many as six cars travel up and down a space elevator? ‘These are ideas we want to hear and we want people to follow up on,’ said Bryan Laubscher, one of the leading space elevator enthusiasts and principle at Odysseus Technologies, a company working on high-strength materials.”

The questions posed were used as a starting point for discussions about how a space elevator would actually work. Could operational costs of such an elevator be low enough to enable a company to run them? What would these costs be? How would solar panels factor in to help with energy in the elevators?

These may not be questions you hear about residential elevators and commercial elevators every day, but one day we might ride up to space as easily as get to that observation deck in New York City.

 

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