Hi PF, I've been tasked with joining a team in Budapest to design an endogenously powered space elevator. I was wondering if I could talk about some concepts with you while I prepare for the 1 month camp. http://copernicus.exosphe.re/ Right now I'm wondering if there is a way I can generate a strength curve for materials created over time. For example, is there any chance that the time that kevlar was invented, and the time that nanotubes were invented fall around an exponential curve? The maximum speed of manmade vehicles did, and allowed scientists to predict when they would be able to leave the Earth. If that strength/time curve is not already available, what materials do you think are significant milestones in strength? Second, I'm also trying to wrap my head around the physics of space elevators. So far it seems like if the tether is less than 25,000 km tall, it will want to fall to the Earth. But if it's longer than that and has a counterweight, if the tether was cut from its base on earth, it would tend to rise up off the ground and float away into space. Third, the task is to design an endogenously powered space elevator that coordinates with asteroid mining companies. If a payload is lowered down an elevator, how would we extract energy from that process? The first thought I had was eddy currents. I remember seeing some neodymium magnets fall down a copper tube cooled by liquid nitrogen. That would be a way to slow its fall, but does it produce energy we can tap? Or just heat energy? Induction: perhaps this is a more ordered form of the same eddy currents. Right? I remember passing a neodymium magnet through the inside of a loop of wire and detecting a current. A friend of mine who works on radio towers says that when air blows against the radio tower, it generates a static electricity potential high enough that it can destroy the equipment on the radio tower and protective measures have to be put in place. Is there a way to capitalize off of this "problem?" There are intriguing magnetic and electric phenomena in the region between the lower atmosphere and outer space. In another PF thread, someone suggested the ionosphere itself could be used to dampen potentially harmful n-order resonant oscillations. According to Wikipedia, a space elevator tethered to a geosynchronous counterweight would have to pass through the Van Allen radiation belts. Is there a way we can extract energy from them? This link suggests it is possible to control them: http://www.tethers.com/HiVOLT.html NASA talks about particles around the earth that appear to "protect" the earth from nasty solar storms. http://www.nasa.gov/content/goddard...ocess-that-protects-earth-from-space-weather/ NASA has written articles about direct electromagnetic "portals" connecting the earth to the sun. The sink near the earth of these portals is called and electron diffusion region. Is there a way to harvest energy from these? http://www.nasa-usa.de/mission_pages/sunearth/news/mag-portals.html There are also forms of lightening, or atmospheric electrical discharge which exist very high in the atmosphere. Could this space elevator become a lightening rod? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Upper-atmospheric_lightning I'll post back with more thoughts later.