Space Elevator -- 15 Year Update

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P. A. Swan et al (2016), JBIS, 69, pp.202-210

Refcode: 2016.69.202
Keywords: Space elevator, space access, tether climbers, tether dynamics

The concept for a “doable” modern day space elevator was created by Dr. Bradley Edwards while supporting NASA’s advanced research program. His NIAC Phase I and Phase II studies lead to a definitive and achievable design for a basic space elevator. He showed how all the challenges could be aggressively met and the complexities reduced to simple engineering solutions. His remarkable concept for low cost access to space was timely with the recognition that carbon nanotubes were being developed and their capabilities projected towards a material more than sufficient for the demands of space elevators. This article will summarize major achievements as they related to studies, conferences, competitions and other activities over the last fifteen years that have led to an optimistic position for space elevator believers that INDEED it can be achieved – and in the next 20 years.

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