Re: SubOrbital Towers..

From: Robert J. Bradbury (
Date: Fri Mar 17 2000 - 20:55:52 MST

On Fri, 17 Mar 2000, James Swayze wrote:

> Also I remember a program on tall buildings where they said the limit
> is 16 miles. They said the weight would turn the base to liguid from
> the heat of so much pressure. Granted they were probably talking
> conventional materials, not sure don't remember, but wouldn't there
> be an upper limit just the same on even light materials?

James, you have to keep in mind that there is a big difference
between "buildings" and elevators that take things to orbit.
With buildings, you need floors, desks, elevators and people
to name a few non-massless objects. The Landis paper I cited
said nothing about building a sky-scraper many miles high.
It was only addressing the issue of supporting space-shuttle
mass payloads. I suspect that space-shuttle mass payloads
are on the order of the mass of a single floor of a typical
office building in a major city. [Do the arithmetic...]

There are always tradeoffs. Do you want a machine that will
take ~200 people into orbit slowly and expensively, or do you
want a tower that will take 1-10 people into orbit at approximately
the same rate, but highly repeatedly?


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