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(Some Huge Shaft)   Wheaton might actually make it to space in his lifetime...   ( divider line
    More: Wheaton  
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5100 clicks; posted to Main » on 06 Oct 2002 at 11:02 AM (15 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

56 Comments     (+0 »)

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2002-10-06 09:58:56 AM  
Damnit Wil !!!
You need to get help for that glue huffing problem of yours ! =+)
2002-10-06 11:14:35 AM  
Go Wil Go
2002-10-06 11:26:46 AM  
wholy crap I wouldn't stand on that thing! I wonder what would stop it from tipping over?
2002-10-06 11:27:54 AM  
Why do these guys get money for funding, yet I have a product I have a company and can I get venture capital or any sort of funding, hell no.

Elevator to space indeed, france surrenders, then falls over laughing.
2002-10-06 11:28:42 AM  
powered by lasers! sweet! I wanna be the laser guy! bvvvvvt! bvvvvvt!
2002-10-06 11:29:30 AM  
Okay, finally I'm asking: Who is Will Weathon?
2002-10-06 11:29:52 AM  
(William Shatner as Ralph Kramden):

"To the moon,Wheaton,To the moon!"
2002-10-06 11:40:07 AM  
10 billion? A bargain! Can't we just sell a few nuclear missle subs to the Iraqis for the moola or somethin?
2002-10-06 11:41:10 AM  
Danderzai... who is Wil Wheaton? (spelling corrected)

If you don't know by now, *I'm* not gonna be the one to tell you he played Wesley Crusher on Star Trek:TNG.

Oh goddammit, I just did... *pounding forehead with palms* stupid! Stupid! Stupid!
2002-10-06 11:41:30 AM  
(picture) using

I hope that worked.
2002-10-06 11:43:32 AM  
More importantly... why does this article have the Wheaton tag? Was it just a ploy to use Wil to get the article posted?
2002-10-06 11:44:49 AM  
How would they get around the Earth rotating issue? Time it to reach the top as it lines up with the moon? I'm missing something. Need to drink some coffee and read it again.
2002-10-06 11:48:17 AM
2002-10-06 11:49:05 AM  
The rotation of the earth wouldn't be a problem, think skyscrapers. Probably the biggest problem would be weather affecting it. Winds, storms, suicide birds, etc...
2002-10-06 11:53:17 AM  

I'd like to know about that too. Something about having a 62,000 mile elevator in a place where tropical storms could occur makes me wonder....
2002-10-06 11:56:24 AM  
Groinpull, That looks like a great big oversized guitar string.
2002-10-06 11:57:07 AM  
can anyone tell me how to steal the image in the aboce url and post it? I have no html skills!
2002-10-06 11:59:33 AM  
A space guitar string! WOO! HOO!
2002-10-06 12:00:03 PM  
without the space after the first <
2002-10-06 12:00:42 PM  
oops my helpful hint didnt show up :|
2002-10-06 12:02:00 PM  
Laine, who started a now-defunct Internet company, runs the business side of HighLift Systems

Well that's encouraging.
2002-10-06 12:04:19 PM  

joalis like this?
2002-10-06 12:05:13 PM  
aww crap!

<a href=./images/se.jpg>(picture)</a>

whut am I doing wrong!!
2002-10-06 12:12:02 PM  
(IMG SRC=urlhere) replace the () with <>
2002-10-06 12:12:23 PM  
<img src="">
2002-10-06 12:15:07 PM  
Groinpull: use the format above for posting pictures and make sure the HTML enabled box at the bottom of this page is ticked. You have to include the http:// at the start of a url or Fark rejects the image.
2002-10-06 12:28:26 PM  
[image from too old to be available]
2002-10-06 12:29:02 PM  
2002-10-06 12:31:21 PM  
"The project hinges on refining a material called carbon nanotube composite, a specially engineered form of carbon that is strong and lightweight.

...'It's 100 times stronger than steel but weighs a fifth as much.'"

Is Henry Reardon on the research team?

[image from too old to be available]
2002-10-06 12:32:29 PM  
Man, I really need a reality check. I read the headline, and thought,"what the hell are they talking about? Wil HAS been in space". Then the I found myself on that fine line between what is real and what is fantasy. Scary. And I'm not even high. Yet..
2002-10-06 01:17:54 PM  
"Companies in the United States and Japan are working on the carbon nanotubes, experimenting with ways to make them longer and stronger."

My sister-in-law is doing her doctoral research on carbon nanotubes right now. Trying to make a material strong enough to use in the space elevator. Of course, the nanotubes will have lots of other applications besides that. And it's being funded by the government too.
2002-10-06 01:18:53 PM  
Go Wil go, bring us back something
2002-10-06 01:27:03 PM  
Yeah I saw this in Popular Mechanics last month I think. Here's what it supposed to look like:

[image from too old to be available]

Pretty cool I think.
2002-10-06 01:28:32 PM  
Pah. Arthur C Clarke thought of this years ago.
2002-10-06 01:28:55 PM  
Considering in 8 months he'll be a raging alcoholic with an addiction to painkillers, he won't see this in HIS lifetime.
2002-10-06 01:31:05 PM  
Hmm. That article is incorrect. The elevator only needs to be 26,000 miles tall, not 62,000. Dyslexia?

For those of you who think this is a crank, the idea is very sound. This particular person could be a crank, but the space elevator idea is receiving very serious treatment and is one of the least technically challenging space-access methods on the drawing boards. The primary obstacle is creating long carbon nanotubes; current tubes max out at about a millimeter.

Of more practical concern is the fact that any space elevator will be perpendicular to the axis of the Earth, which doesn't sound too bad until you consider that the Earth's axis is tilted 23 degrees with respect to the plane of the ecliptic. So if you actually want to go somewhere in the solar system, you still have to expend fuel to change your trajectory.

On the other hand, because only the upper end of the elevator is actually in orbit, most of the elevator will have some degree of gravity. You could build waystations along the elevator at particular fractions of g. So there could be the Mars-gravity station, which would be at the 1/3 g point, where would-be martians could hang out to get used to their future gravity. And of course the 1/6 g station for the moon.

There are also designs for LEO space elevators; these are elevators that are a few thousand kilometers long that don't actually reach all the way down to Earth. Instead they orbit the Earth non-geosynchronously. High-altitude aircraft would take off and rendevous with the lower end of the elevator as it passes overhead. These elevators have an advantage over the anchor elevators in that they can be aligned with the plane of the ecliptic. A disadvantage (apart from the rendesvous aspect) is that they need to be able to dodge an aweful lot of space junk.

NASA published an excellent report on space elevators a couple of years ago. I'm going to go dig up my copy.
2002-10-06 01:41:57 PM  
The NASA document I mentioned is CP-2000-210429, titled Space Elevators: An Advanced Earth-Space Infrastructure for the New Millenium. I did a Google search but the first two items appear to be abridged versions of the paper, and since I have the full version sitting in my lap I'm not looking any further. If you are interested, I've given you a place to start.
2002-10-06 02:09:18 PM  
2002-10-06 02:12:35 PM  
[image from too old to be available]
2002-10-06 02:14:39 PM  
These platforms are being designed by marine architecture firm Art Anderson Associates.

So of course, when they say 62,000 miles they naturally mean thirty yards or so.
2002-10-06 03:05:39 PM  
I can't wait. What would be even better would if some private company picked this whole thing up. I don't know what type of company would be interested in setting up tourist trips to space or would have the capital for the inital investment, but that would worka lot better than having the damned government having their hands all over it. It would be a lot more effecient and cheaper if it was done by anyone else. But if the government is the best I can get, then I don't have much of a choice now, do I?
2002-10-06 03:14:50 PM  
Considering NASA's recent experience with rooooopes in spaaaaaace, I'd be a bit cautious about getting on one.
'Course, sitting on a big tank of explosive liquid gases and lighting a match doesn't seem like a good idea either.
wil [TotalFark]
2002-10-06 03:16:41 PM  
Oh sure.

This is just another ploy to get me into outer space, so someone can put me in the airlock and hit the cycle button.

Nothin' doin', guys.
2002-10-06 03:30:32 PM  
Cool idea, and if it really does happen some day thats great. But what happens when it decides to fall over sideways and leaves a path of destruction literally over the whole earth :)
2002-10-06 03:38:20 PM  
"Fall over sideways"

Actually, the interesting thing is that it isn't really standing. A more accurate interpretation is that it is hanging out into space. Good old centrifugal force. The earth is spinning fast enough, and the Center of mass of that elevator is far away enough that the centrifugal force would probably be about equal to the force of the pull of gravity. I am willing to bet when the whole thing is said and done, if the base of the elevator was comprimised (some flew a plane into it or something) the whole thing would still just hang there. Or possibly fly off into space depending on how Nasa centered the counterweights and whether or not they were mobile.
2002-10-06 03:54:29 PM  
Anyone else ever notice that Wil Wheaton only shows up here for the 'Wheaton' threads????

Coincidence, or a lazy agent? You tell me....
2002-10-06 04:02:56 PM  
If you were one of the tags on Fark, would you bother posting ot anything but those style articles?
2002-10-06 04:30:27 PM  
But, Wil, If you had an extra 20 Million sitting around wouldn't you want to go? I can't wait 'til I hit the lottery. ;)
2002-10-06 04:38:42 PM  
Centripetal force. Centrifugal force is an inertial force and does not apply in an inertial frame of reference.

But Flake, the earth is spinning. It has constant acceleration and is therefore not an inertial frame of reference. Its rotation is significant here.

[sigh] I'm going back to drinking pepsi and playing psychobabble.
2002-10-06 04:50:06 PM  
Damn, I always confuse those two.
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