Posted By RichC on April 6, 2006
Today’s blog post is a little off the wall, but considering my father retired from the elevator business after 45 ‘up and down’ years … (groan … one) I thought he would appreciate me taking this topic to the ‘next level.’ (groan … two) If you can still bear to keep reading, the idea of a space elevator is does have some merit as a way to move cargo and people through our atomsphere and into space. It sounds sort of quirky but one company sees this as very realistic. They actually has a running countdown to an April 12, 2018 launch.
Imagine a carbon nanotube pole extending miles (62,000+) to an orbiting space station and complex that might offer a launching point for further exploration and research. The vehicle (elevator car) would slide up this pole and eventually reach the station without the usual navigation challenges that are currently inherit with a shuttle or rocket vehicle. There is a company that is beginning to move forward with experiments and plans to build such an elevator. Check out Lift Port Group.
LiftPort, Inc. was established in 2003 with the goal of building a space elevator. Located in Bremerton, WA, we have been diligently working toward that goal. Over the last two and a half years, weâ€™ve gone through 14 generations of robots, successfully climbed over 1000ft, and opened our first carbon nanotube factory in Millville, NJ. We are recognized by the media as the leaders in space elevator technology. LiftPort, Inc. is a privately held Washington state â€˜Câ€™ corporation. We currently have a number of shareholders and a staff of 14 team members.
The company’s mission is simple: to build a complete space transportation infrastructure with a focus on the space elevator. Towards that goal, the team at LiftPort, Inc. is partnering with universities, research labs, Individuals, non-profit organizations, and private businesses to develop the necessary technologies and capabilities. The subject of research for more than a century, the space elevator is a unique way to ferry cargo and people into space. Recent advances in technology, most notably the development of carbon nanotube composites, now appear to make building it feasible. Initial research reports on building the space elevator that draw upon these discoveries have now been completed. As proposed in these preliminary reports, the space elevator will consist of a carbon nanotube composite ribbon stretching some 62,000 miles (100,000 km) from earth to space. The elevator will be anchored to a specially designed ocean going vessel named, “The LiftPort” near the equator in the Pacific Ocean, and to a small man-made counterweight in space. Lifters (robotic elevator cars) will move up and down the ribbon, carrying such items as satellites, solar power systems, exploration probes, factories, and eventually people into space. LiftPort’s plan is to take the concept from the research stage to commercial development.
The company is in the process of putting together a technology, marketing and operations team, as well as a technical and operation advisory board.