Say you have an elevator that reaches space. I have 2 questions : 1) say a space rock hits the top of the elevator... that would create a torque = force * distance on the ground... Wouldn't it instantly snap from any light force or space junk hitting the top of the elevator? Would the station have to instantly compensate for something like this? If this is true, any compensating force would have to act really fast right? Because if the force is countered so that it lasts for only a millisecond maybe it wont be long enough to make the material break (maybe it needs time to pass the materials elasticity region or something). Or would it create some kind of force wave going back and forth through the tower if the force only acts for a half a second? 2) Someone was asking on facebook about the Earth slowing down like when an ice skater spreads out their arms while spinning. I think the moment of the inertia of earth would be so great that the change from a space elevator would not have any effect. But in theory it should have SOME minute effect... So my question is... if you remove the space elevator, would momentum be conserved and that minute amount of rotational velocity the elevator might remove from the earth would be instantly retrieved, so that the earths rotational speed goes back to the pre elevator speed?