My colleague Peter Swann has been an ardent advocate of cheap access to outer space using space elevators.
There is a new specia issue , details below, that provides up to date information on what is now possible
using new materials.
for interest artist tomas Saraceno advocates aerosolar flight
In a time of rapidly accelerating climate change, why do we still blast rockets into space, burning up vast amounts of hydrocarbons? Is it because it is the only way to get there? Renowned international contemporary artist Tomas Saraceno says no, we can float into space with balloons, from space stations hovering in the upper atmosphere. The concept is not dissimilar to Saraceno’s exhibition ‘Cloud Cities’, a version of which was recently shown on the roof of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Argentine-born, Berlin-based Saraceno is coming to the border to demonstrate with ‘Becoming Aerosolar’, a floating sculpture in the dramatic landscape of White Sands desert how we could float into space. He is also starting his international campaign for sustainable space travel in ‘Space Without Rockets’, a conference at UTEP headed up by engineer John Powell, whose company is pioneering the idea of ‘floating into space’ with balloons. He will be joined by other experts in space and culture, in a unique conference and event that will attract worldwide attention. ‘Becoming Aerosolar – Space Without Rockets’ is the must-attend centerpiece of Territory of the Imagination.
So who says we need rockets to go into outer space; with balloons and elevators we can all hike into space !
Going Up! Are Space Elevators from Earth to the Moon and Beyond Feasible?
New Rochelle, NY, January 15, 2016—Space elevators that could routinely transport cargo between the Earth, our planet’s moon and asteroids, and even Mars at an affordable cost of less than $100/kg could stimulate a gold rush into space, revolutionizing opportunities for commercialization, space exploration, and space colonization. The technology, vision, and infrastructure development driving this movement are examined in the thought-provoking article “The Future: Space Elevators Seem Feasible,” published in New Space, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The article is available free to download on the New Space website until February 15, 2016.
The article is part of a special issue of New Space entitled “Space Elevators: Opening up the Earth-Moon Ecosphere.” Co-authors Cathy Swan, PhD, SouthWest Analytic Network, Peter Swan, PhD and John Knapman, PhD, International Space Elevator Consortium, and David Raitt, European Space Agency (retired), discuss the potential for future growth if the materials needed to construct the 100,000 kilometer rope (likely made of carbon nanotubes) that would make operation of a space elevator feasible were available before 2030. Inexpensive commercial access to space could provide low-cost energy from solar-powered satellites, enable mining of space mineral resources and construction on the surface of the Moon and asteroids, and eventually allow for people to migrate off-planet with expanding colonies of people and commerce supporting an Earth-Moon-Mars ecosystem.
“The space elevator concept has a long history as speculative science or even science fiction. However, recent advances in materials such as nanotechnology have stimulated a renewed interest,” says Editor-in-Chief G. Scott Hubbard, Stanford University (CA). ” In this issue we provided some of the current thought leaders with an opportunity to explain the current state of the technology. The tantalizing promise of the capability is enormous.”