Re: Orbital Towers.

From: Anders Sandberg (
Date: Tue Feb 29 2000 - 12:16:58 MST writes:

> In a message dated 2/28/00 11:04:10 PM Central Standard Time,
> writes:
> > Fellow Arthur Clarke fans, help me out here. Clarke wrote a book
> > with a skyhook,
> I read it....
> Another guy also wrote a book about a skyhook...Sheffield I think....

Yes, "The Web Between Worlds" (awful storyline, nice if somewhat dated
megaengineering. The scene where the beanstalk "lands" and the
emotions it conjures are much better than the rest).

> Clarke's skyhook was built from the bottom up ANd from the top down...joined
> in the middle I think...

Sounds wrong. The problem with building a tower is that you need
materials with very high compression strength, and I seem to recall
there are no such materials that would give a working tapering ratio -
with enough tapering you could do it, but the result of the "how high
tower could we possibly build" thread here or on
concluded it needed several thousand kilometers of base to reach
orbit, clearly infeasible.

Beanstalks "work" because high tensile strengths are possible and most
parts of the structure are outside the strong gravitational field near
the earth and hence do not contribute much to the tension.

Anders Sandberg                                      Towards Ascension!                  
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Thu Jul 27 2000 - 14:04:21 MDT