Space Elevator for Equipment?
Imagine a world where millions of light but strong nano carbon fibre strings are crafted into an air tight tunnel from the international space station to the ground on earth. Now imagine our equipment and people fastened into a 2 metre metal ball chamber and sent off to the international space station using just air?
Using the principles of inflation in jumping castles a tunnel can quickly be inflated and an object can quickly reach the end of its destination from its starting point if the Pressure>Weight/time.
Now imagine every country connected to these tubes where people are transported at lighting speeds between great distances using just air pressure.
These principles may even apply to worm holes in space which may only be pressurised dark matter connected to many dimensions with a main source eg. heaven fueling the expansion of the universe and our expanding galaxies.
The problem here is that what is described is not based in scientific facts, (e.g.; material properties,) and physical observation, (e.g.; mechanical operation). But simply looks at an imaginary infrastructure of a futuristic utopian socio-political system in which a fulfilling force (blasted air) is almighty and if properly harnessed would be capable of sustaining even an expanded wormhole.
Let us try to be more realistic and look at what could be done and what not.
Material characteristics of carbon nano tubes at atomic size make of these filaments something of a mesh or fishing-net. This is evident when looking at them from an up close vantage point, (as it is when using a microscope to inspect them).
So we know that these filaments are a very porous material and air (gases) will easily move from the inside of the tube to it’s outside. This effect is known as effusion (for a definition of effusion see wikipedia).
Moreover, let us assume that we were to fabricate a cloth with CNT filaments and from this the proposed shelling-tube to be manufactured. This cloth will inherit not only the microscopic properties of CNT but will enhance the porous nature as is known to be with any type of cloth. So, gas containment is impossible by using a purely CNT shell.
To resolve the above porosity issue; a dense composite will have to be manufactured, hopefully filling in the space between the carbon atoms. And so; making the CNT filler of the composite a somewhat impermeable material, capable to counteract the evident effusion process to some gases.
This modification enhances the fundamental properties filler material (CNT) but it also adds more mass, therefore increasing its density. This will free a cascade of other conditions such as being affected by gravity and making it too heavy to be deployed by either the inflationary proposed mechanism or by the centrifugal method (if we intended it to reach up to GEO distances).
Recall that the idea of a centrifugally extended CNT space elevator is based on a precise balance between the unique properties of the CNT material of being lightweight and its tensional strength. Any modification to the purity of the CNT as to implant new properties brings about also disproportional amounts of mass that will break the system's stability. Therefore, defeating the purpose of a centrifugally extended CNT space elevator system. Furthermore, all the material that will stand below GEO altitude is to be accounted as pure weight, (even the inflating air,) implying that the proposed system is a compression structure and not at all tensional system.
As to be at all operationally useful, what is also proposed are the flying shuttles traveling up and down though the conduit. Because this implies that the structure is to be tubular in nature, all these desirable properties will add even more mass to the structure. In a nutshell, our problem is how to reduce density of the structure at the macroscopic level.
Considering all the above, what this all means is that; to make the system work, compromises have to be made, especially in the realm of attainable heights. I believe that such a structure could only be possible up to about a few hundreds of kilometers. To do this we would have to device a method to decrease the density of the structure while preserving the material strength. This strategy is as to keep it from keep the shell from wrinkling, buckling and crumbling at its base.
- Let’s say we could resolve the problem of effusion and we would be able to contain Helium for a long period of time. By using Helium we would be able to reduce the density and we could take advantage of other factors.
- Let’s also assume that instead of having a single large inflatable containing shell in the form of a tube we where able to use multiple inflatable modular units that could be stacked. By using this construction system we would be able to use traditional technologies, thus making the construction much more manageable.
Of course I could keep on describing further the totality of the system, but this is already something discussed at several other places. A space elevator system like this goes by the name of a SpaceShaft.
If you have other questions I will try to answer them during the week.
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