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russ_watters is offline
Dec20-09, 04:06 PM
P: 22,010
Quote Quote by mugaliens View Post
I would offer that no systems are developed once all the technology is in place. From the SR-71 to Apollo to the Space Shuttle, Pegasus... Much of the technology was developed along with the system. Most of the time that involved refinement of existing technology until it worked as designed and met specs.
The steps from one to the other there are not that big and the SR-71 used a surprising number of off-the-shelf components. It was innovative, but a space elevator would require a quantum leap in materials technology. It is akin to suggesting the Wright Brothers should have tackled supersonic flight for the Flyer II.
Quote Quote by Dave
On the other hand, looking around, I'm not finding as much as I thought I would.

ISEC seems to be the biggest organization, and it's just a half-dozen guys. Maybe interest has died away in the intervening years.

This makes me sad.
I know it sucks to have your bubble burst, but Fred really is talking about reality here. The idea of a space elevator is just science fiction. Even when people "research" the idea or do these little demos with cables hanging out of helicopters, serious scientists and engineers know that they are just publicity stunts. There isn't anything coming anywhere near to approaching reality in these ideas.

I'd be surprised if we get a space elevator in my lifetime (I'm 34) and if we get one in the next 20 years, I'll eat my telescope.