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Mars space elevator

  1. Apr 9, 2013 #1
    From observation I believe that the moons of mars may provide a landing and lift off platform . The moon Deimos is near to geosynchronous orbit and drops a tether to dangle over the orbit of Phobos above the surface of mars . From Phobos a shoe swing is tethered out and dropped onto mars as Phobos passes overhead . A gentle braking on the tether reel lifts the shoe into flight and lift as the tether is reeled back . On a later orbital pass below Deimos the shoe casts its load to rendezvous with the elevator dangling above .
    Of course this infrastructure is long term and most feasible to construct through space drones and robots and requires some spin corrections on the moons . I am sure many more hurdles remain but could it work ?
  2. jcsd
  3. May 23, 2013 #2
    Well no one likes this dynamic space lift at mars so how about using the same technique here on earth ? First a robot lander is placed onto a suitable methane orebody with a mass sufficiently large to anchor a reel brake . The robot has a hot pile fission energy source to mine and store methane and to further reform the fuel into hydrogen to drive ion thrusters . This mass is spin altered and dropped into earth orbit at L5 . The byproduct of the methane harvest is a large amount of carbon . A second robot is landed onto the mass body with the capacity to press the carbon into graphite and further process the knit into graphene tethers . As the spin is worked back up the tether is reeled out with a rendezvous loading shoe and a counter balancing lifting mass opposing the loading shoe . The L5 orbit is the perfect high point to enter an elliptic insertion that allows the lifter to sweep through near earth flyby close enough to deploy the load shoe . As the shoe is cast down ahead of the lifter the ballast is released to to maintain tether tension as the lifter passes overhead of the load shoe . The reeling brake is applied to accelerate the load to lift speed . As the load tether is reeled back the lifter mass is thrust back to L 5 . The load shoe can make rendezvous above the atmosphere with a low cost vertical air launch such as the Rutan system now for hire .
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