Space elevator

  • It is proposed type of planet-to-space transportation system.
  • Its components mainly are cable (also called tether) anchored to surface of planet and extending into space.
  • It will permit vehicles to travel along cable from planetary surface, such as Earth’s, directly into space or orbit, without use of large rockets.
  • The idea of space elevator was first proposed in 1895 by Russian scientist Konstantin Tsiolkovsky after he saw Eiffel Tower in Paris and later it was revisited nearly century later in novel by Arthur C. Clarke.
  • The one end of cable of space elevator will be attached near to surface and the other end in space beyond geostationary orbit (35,786 km altitude).
  • The competing forces of gravity, which is stronger at lower end and outward or upward centrifugal force, which is stronger at upper end, will result in the cable being held up, under tension, and stationary over single position on Earth.
  • Once cable (tether) is deployed at fixed position, climbers can repeatedly climb it to venture into space by mechanical means, releasing their cargo to orbit.
  • Climbers also can descend tether to return cargo to surface from orbit.