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What about the threat of terrorism?

Discussion in 'Issues Around the World' started by Swamp Fox, Aug 13, 2002.

  1. Swamp Fox

    Swamp Fox Veteran Member

  2. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Passed Away Aug. 19, 2006

    Sorry Stanley. Here is what I find at that URL. Short half-life, I guess.

    "Sorry, this story is no longer available."
  3. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    Try now.
  4. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Passed Away Aug. 19, 2006

    Am I alone in thinking this is a really bad idea? Do we want every ass in the world to be able to have a space program, and a nice platform from which to drop bombs and the like?


    "With a system as inexpensive as ours, every nation could have a space program. Most universities could have a space program. And a few corporations could have their own space program," said Michael Laine, the company's president.
  5. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    No, you are not alone. Incredibly stupid idea.
  6. Swamp Fox

    Swamp Fox Veteran Member

    But think, Bob, Osama Bin Laden and the Al-Qaeda can ship off into outer space and never see us again. In fact, we can even help them get there and establish their version of paradise.
  7. Biker

    Biker Administrator Staff Member

    Sorry to dredge up such an old thread, but it seems the worry warts can start worrying again.

    The 2nd Annual International Conference on the Space Elevator was just held and from the looks of things, this is a project that we'll be hearing a lot more of.

    The economics alone make this exciting. Read more about it <a href="http://www.msnbc.com/news/968049.asp?0sl=-43" target="blank">here</a>.
  8. Ugly

    Ugly Fish is Brain Food

    If I understand the premise of space elevator it involves hoisting stuff up via a cable, ribbon or whatever, attached to a satellite in geosynchronous orbit

    Is this right? - I am only a flightless waterfowl, so excuse me for asking.
  9. joseftu

    joseftu ORIGINAL Pomp-Dumpster

    In David Gerrold's <i>Jumping Off the Planet</i> (a very fun SF novel), the "Line," a space elevator, is destroyed by terrorists.

    Alastair Reynolds' <i>Chasm City</i> also includes the rather spectacular destruction of a space elevator by terrorists.

    Of course, there's also Heinlein's <i>Friday</i>, in which the "Quito Skyhook" meets with a disaster.

    Kim Stanley Robinson's <i>Mars</i> series and Iain Banks' <i>Feersum Endjin</i> (difficult, ambitious, and a great novel) also make use of the space elevator.
  10. IamZed

    IamZed ...

    I have followed the space elevator idea for years. We have tried to do experiments with the idea, but I believe each has had its snag, and none were successful. We are due to have the first experimental one up within 15 years.
    A terrorist could destroy one with some difficulty. You couldnt do it by flying an airplane into it. It would take precision placed explosives. The base is the most vulnerable spot. A space elevator would be the property of all governments. The destruction of it would alienate the world. Eventually there will be dozens. Clarks grand idea was to surround the earth with a string right at the Clark orbit (geosynchronous) and migrate payloads along it that had rode the elevators up.
    If sabotage occurred during the deployment of one, the damage to the earth would be tremendous. The equator would be wrapped by the falling fiber, and that fiber would have been designed to last forever. Once deployed, however there would be little damage to earth if destroyed at the base. The ladder would just lift into the sky and be gone forever. The Clark ring would have to adjust to load redistribution for a few years but there would be no carnage on this world.
    All countries will be vested in the project. An attack on it would be an attack upon the world itself. Bring that on, and lets get this over once and for all.
  11. Coot

    Coot Passed Away January 7, 2010

    What should be of equal or perhaps more concern than terrorism is the various sundry objects d' junque careening around in various orbits at 35,000 MPH. Nuts, bolts, washers and larger pieces of scrap could likely wreak some fairly nasty havoc on the elevator's carbon nanotube cables and mechanisms.
  12. Biker

    Biker Administrator Staff Member

    Sir Arthur does bring that up as well. I agree that the issue of space garbage is a bigger concern.
  13. IamZed

    IamZed ...

    The relative velocity between an orbiting body and another
    orbiting body wont be so high as 35,000 MPH.
    No. I am wrong. The ladder is not in a natural orbit until it reaches the Clark orbit. Everything beyond that suspends that which is below, yet at a much faster speed.
    Objects in low earth orbit would impact the ladder as if it was standing still, as it actually is. Above the Clark orbit objects would be hitting it from the opposite side.
    It will be neat to see the first one. It is supposed to be based on a large boat with a smart pay out/pay in reel that lets the boat stay at sea. Incredible stuff to think of.
  14. Ugly

    Ugly Fish is Brain Food

    A fish to the first to show this is wrong

    Does anyone see pulling something up the ladder is equivalent to pulling down on the satellite holding the top of the ladder in geosynchronous orbit?

    Even if an object is in geo-orbit the laws of physics still apply.

    Hence, the first aforementioned downward thrust applied to the satellite will bring the ladder down to earth.

    Am I missing something here?

    A fish for anyone who explains this please. :thumbsup:

    best fishes,
  15. IamZed

    IamZed ...

    Yup. The maximum payload of the ladder must be held by the ground base at all times. Lets say two tons. There would have to be a two ton upward load on the line when you engaged your two ton load to ride up the ladder. When idle, the base would have to withstand that two ton outward pull. This would allow loads to climb the ladder.
    The tensile strength of the ladder may allow even larger loads. The outward pull is what makes such an outrageous concept no real danger to the earth. If destroyed it will simply fly away.
  16. Ugly

    Ugly Fish is Brain Food

    So the definition of geosynchronous orbit has me confused then.

    I was using this: Of, relating to, or being a satellite that travels above Earth's equator from west to east at an altitude of approximately 35,900 kilometers (22,300 miles) and at a speed matching that of Earth's rotation, thus remaining stationary in relation to Earth.
    Of, relating to, or being the orbit of such a satellite.

    This implies no force is needed to maintain the satellite's position, yet also says the application of force (say from a ladder pulling up a load) would upset this equilibrium.


    best fishes,
  17. IamZed

    IamZed ...

    Your close on this Ugly. The mystery factor is that the ladders have to go well beyond a geo orbit. At least twice that. The led weights at the end are traveling beyond escape velocity, which is the speed everything moving in the Clark orbit is doing, minus one MPH as it were. As you move several feet out beyond that string of Clark, you are traveling at escape speed. When tethered to the ground, you induce tension unto that line. The farther out you go, the higher your velocity, the greater the tension. The dead weights on a space ladder will be well beyond the geosynchronous height, giving them escape plus velocity, and a constant upward pull.
  18. Ugly

    Ugly Fish is Brain Food

    Oh, now I see. - Thanks Zed.
    I missed the ladder being so long.
    Thousands of miles long!
    That sounds improbable.
  19. IamZed

    IamZed ...

    Improbable it is. We will do it. We have that knowledge.
  20. joseftu

    joseftu ORIGINAL Pomp-Dumpster

    "Improbable," says the penguin, as his flippers tap plastic keys to make words appear on a lighted screen miles and miles away!


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