Latest in Japan

Image credit:

Japan planning its own damn space ladder

Tim Stevens
09.24.08
Share
Tweet
Share

Sponsored Links



If the third time is the charm, yet you botch that attempt just like the earlier two, then what? That's the problem facing NASA and its Space Elevator Challenge, which has for three successive years failed to live up to the vision of Arthur C. Clarke. Japan isn't waiting for a fourth, announcing plans to spend $7.3 billion on its own lift to whisk passengers (and cargo) 22,000 miles aloft on composite cables. It's the cables that are the problem, as they need to be 180 times stronger than steel and obviously much, much lighter. The Japanese are focusing on carbon nanotubes, and while they will need to be engineered four times stronger than current stock before they're up to the task, their highly conductive nature means they can not only support the lift vehicle but also power it. Useful, that, because the ride up could take a couple of days or even weeks, and astronauts will need some way to recharge their PMPs.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Share
Tweet
Share

Popular on Engadget

Sony indefinitely delays ‘The Last of Us Part II’

Sony indefinitely delays ‘The Last of Us Part II’

View
NASA successfully deploys the James Webb Telescope's enormous mirror

NASA successfully deploys the James Webb Telescope's enormous mirror

View
Nikon is streaming online photography courses for free this month

Nikon is streaming online photography courses for free this month

View
NASA's iconic 'worm' logo will adorn the Falcon 9 Crew Dragon rocket

NASA's iconic 'worm' logo will adorn the Falcon 9 Crew Dragon rocket

View
Amazon's latest Blink camera costs just $35

Amazon's latest Blink camera costs just $35

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr