Re: To space without rockets ?

Anders Sandberg (
24 Oct 1997 14:30:37 +0200

"Berrie" <> writes:

> As I tried to draw, could we make some "flexible" pipes,
> that have attached balls with a light gas. This way the
> structure rises from earth to space.

Fun idea, but likely not workable since the air thins out more and
more as height increases. This means that the buoyancy gets smaller
and smaller for each ball, until the weight of the cable and balls
would counteract the upward force. I think even diamond balls filled
with vacuum would be too heavy beyond a certain height. And since you
want to reach space rather than the high atmosphere, this is likely
not enough (still, there are many uses for this kind of ultra-high
altitude tower for (say) communications).

> Maybe instead of balls filled with gas, you could use
> rockets, that point to space, fed from the ground with fuel.
> A pipe of 100 KM, isn't a problem to build, is it ?

A 100 km pipe *upwards* would likely have a rather extreme pressure at
the bottom - you would have a 100km liquid column at the bottom, which
likely will overcome even nanodesigned materials.

A more reasonable approach would be the classic beanstalk hanging down
from an asteroid outside the synchrnonous orbit. That seems to be
possible using nanomaterials, and would reach into space quite a bit.

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