LiftPort believes that the construction of a Space and Lunar Elevator is possible using today’s technology. The system would allow cheap and simple access to the lunar surface via a ‘ribbon’ cable.
“Before we can build Earth’s Elevator, we’ll need to build one on the Moon. It is significantly easier, and much cheaper. Importantly – we can build it with current technology – in about eight years.”
Images credit: LiftPort
“The study will include characterization of materials; analysis of required rocketry and robotics; and evaluation of landing sites and methods of anchoring to the Lunar surface. Additionally, Ribbon spooling, infrastructure deployment, and micrometeorite mitigation techniques will be explored.”
This is the basic model of the Lunar Space Elevator Infrastructure. We call it LSEI or “Elsie” for short. The system can be constructed within 8 years, using current “Commercial Off The Shelf (COTS) technology.
“This was supposed to be a 1 mile climb test, but the FAA-required aviation orange paint – applied at 50 foot intervals to the ribbon – contained acetone, which weakened the ribbon. The first two attempts of the day resulted in ribbon breaks due to this acetone-induced degradation. ”
This artists concept shows a space elevator. The concept structure would extend from the Earth’s surface to a geo-stationary Earth orbit(GEO). Its center of mass is at GEO such that the entire structure orbits the Earth in sync with the Earth’s rotation maintaining a stationary position over its base attachment at the Equator. EPA PHOTO AFP/NASA/kb/fm