Military Review

Moon lift

Not so long ago, last year, Japanese scientists announced a rather unusual project to deliver various cargoes into orbit without the use of rockets. However, few people know that even more than 50 years ago, such ideas were advanced by an engineer from Leningrad, Yuri Artsutanov. For these purposes, he proposed to use a special, so-called "space elevator". This idea was clearly ahead of its time and then it was successfully picked up only by science-fiction writers. However, the more years that pass from the moment any bold scientific assumption is made, the more real it becomes. Nowadays, the theme of the space elevator gets a new sound.

At the same time, the Leningrad elevator played for Yury Nikolaevich Artsutanov, who is known to few today, a rather important role. Half a century ago, he wrote an article “In Space by an Electric Locomotive”, proposing that a special construction lift be used to deliver cargo to orbit. Yury Artsutanov said that Tsiolkovsky had the idea that if he could build a tower with a height of 40 000 km., Then it would be possible to launch satellites manually. At the same time, everyone understood that it would be impossible to create such a tower.

According to the idea of ​​Yuri Artsutanov, it was necessary to stretch a kind of "cable" into the atmosphere from the earth's equator, having strengthened some load on its other end. The length of such a structure was supposed to be about 60 thousands of kilometers. With the help of such a “cable car” it was supposed to send into orbit not only the necessary cargoes, but also passengers. After 15 years after the appearance of this idea, English science fiction writer Arthur Clark used this idea of ​​a space elevator in his novel Fountains of Paradise. At the same time, the writer never hid Artsutanov’s championship and even personally came to that in Leningrad for consultations. This time was the time of romantics from the sciences and the flowering of science fiction.
Moon lift

Nowadays, many of the things that once seemed fantastic, acquires very real outlines, and the space elevator is no exception. Only now he must connect the Moon and the Earth. Currently, there are already quite a lot of similar projects and programs, and who knows, maybe they will really find a real embodiment and the whole lunar program will be able to acquire completely new features and capabilities.

In 2012, the Japanese company announced that it would be able to realize an absolutely incredible project by 2050 - to create a train into space that can travel ¼ of the distance to the moon. Obayashi Corp, a construction company from Japan, says that it will be able to build an elevator for traveling into space in 40 years - a lift to an altitude of 96 thousands of kilometers. Japanese engineers are planning to implement this ambitious project with carbon nanotubes. These membrane compounds have truly unique properties, for example, they are 20 times stronger than steel.

The elevator, designed by Japanese designers, will be able to transport up to 30 passengers at a time, moving at speeds up to 200 km / h. On the way of the elevator, it is planned to organize one stop at an altitude of approximately 36 thousands of kilometers - ordinary space tourists will be able to reach it within a week, and specialists and scientific researchers will be able to continue their way further and rise to Earth almost 100 thousands of kilometers above Earth. Project Manager Satomi Katsuyama says people adore high-rise buildings. And instead of building them on earth, we will try to create them in space. In "Oboiashi" they assure that their project is realizable, but at the present time there are no approximate estimates of its cost, or opportunities, and that the main thing is ideas, where exactly to build this unique structure.

The construction of the Japanese space elevator was inspired by the completion of the construction of the most high-rise building in Japan - the Tokyo Sky Tree height of 634 meters. The skyscraper in which the offices will be located, as well as viewing platforms, restaurants and cafes is actually a television tower and was commissioned in May 2012. Inspired by the construction of Sky Tree in Oboiasi, it was decided to involve experts in various areas in the creation of the project of a space elevator, the company believes that this project will be able to be implemented. In addition to the fantastic plans, the Japanese are carrying and quite earthly, the company is developing power plants, bridges, high-rise office buildings. Among the projects already implemented are the Universal Studios building in Osaka, the Dubai Metro, the Sydney Olympic Stadium.

In turn, the American entrepreneur Michael Lane believes that it is possible to implement the project of a space elevator without using nanotubes. He is proposing to create an elevator that would not connect the surface of the Earth with an orbit, but an orbit with the surface of the Moon. This has its own logic, since the attraction of a natural satellite is about 6 times lower than on Earth, which significantly reduces the requirements for lightness and strength of the cable material. According to Michael Lane, in this case, carbon nanotubes can be successfully replaced by a polymer called Zylon. The tensile strength of this material is 10 times higher than that of steel, the millimeter thread of such material will withstand up to 450 kg. cargo and is able to maintain its physical properties when heated to 650 degrees Celsius. Lighter can be performed and other components of this elevator. Physically, all the necessary elements can be sent into space with the help of ordinary Atlas or Delta launch vehicles, says Lane, while there is no need to develop any special giants like Saturn V.

According to the entrepreneur, the already existing materials and technologies will allow to realize this mega-project in a relatively short time - just 10 years. However, such a lunar elevator today also has its technological difficulties. For example, it will be necessary to obtain approximately 6 cubic meters of Zylon, which is currently very expensive and has never been produced in similar volumes anywhere. And in general, in reality, the construction of space elevators so far no one has worked on and all the questions that will be associated with such construction, nobody knows yet what to say about the answers to these questions.

At the same time, Michael Lane does not lose hope of success, especially since the benefit from the implementation of this project will be considerable, and the cost of its implementation will be lower than the construction of a conventional space elevator, which would be built from the surface of our planet. There are a large number of similar projects. For example, one of them requires about 100 thousands of kilometers of cable, one end of which will be fixed on Earth, and the other on a counterweight, for example, a heavy space platform located in geosynchronous orbit. The combined effect of gravity and centrifugal forces will keep the cable from falling and the "mobile" cabin can move loads along this cable much cheaper than with conventional space launches using rockets.

The project of the “lunar” elevator will require about 50 thousands of kilometers of cable, one end of which can be placed on the visible surface of the moon, and the second using a special platform to keep in the area of ​​earth gravity, in the so-called libration point L1 of the Earth-Moon system. Cargo to this site will be delivered using conventional launch vehicles, and from the site to the moon will be sent to the space elevator. As planned by Michael Lane, the entire structure will be significantly lighter than the projects of elevators to orbit. According to him, he does not plan to mix hundreds of tons of cargo per week, his system is relatively small and designed to transport 200-250 kg. It is worth considering that for the current tasks of the development and study of the natural satellite of the Earth, this indicator is more than enough. In the future, if we implement this project now, it will be comparable in cost to the usual mission of collecting and sending lunar soil samples to Earth. At the same time, this project will be “reusable” and will have the prospect of increasing opportunities by adding new platforms and cables.

It is worth remembering that the dream is the engine of progress. This thesis is confirmed by the whole human history. Perhaps, exactly what today seems wonderful and fantastic for us will be able to take our civilization to a new technological turn of development from the present to the near and distant future.

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  1. Wedmak
    Wedmak 23 January 2013 08: 59
    The idea of ​​a space elevator, as everyone knows it, was expressed by Arthur Clarke in his story "Fountains of Paradise". But..
    Arthur Clark in the epilogue to the novel tells in detail in which articles and works the idea of ​​a space elevator was mentioned, the earliest source that he found was an article in Komsomolskaya Pravda by Yu. N. Artsutanov from 31.07.1960. Clark himself first learned about this idea from the Soviet album of drawings by Alexei Leonov and artist Sokolov, “Wait for us, stars” (Moscow, 1967), presented to him by Leonov himself at the Vienna Conference on the Peaceful Uses of Space in 1968.
    1. Petrix
      Petrix 23 January 2013 10: 25
      Quote: Wedmak
      The idea of ​​a space elevator, as everyone knows it, was expressed by Arthur Clarke in his story "Fountains of Paradise". But..

      Why rewrite the text of the article in the comments? Or comment without reading?
      1. Wedmak
        Wedmak 23 January 2013 10: 58
        Yes, I missed this moment. You can erase my comment.
  2. Sarus
    Sarus 23 January 2013 09: 16
    Not a bad idea ... We would have to stake out a plot on our territory .. otherwise, then again, what thread to buy for rent
  3. Svarog
    Svarog 23 January 2013 09: 17
    They will again say that the Japanese stole the idea from us and realized it faster than ourselves laughing
    In general, the whole point of the initial idea is precisely to reduce the cost of the most difficult initial stage of flights - to overcome gravity. The Japanese also offer to reduce the cost of a much less costly part .. Efficiency will not be that
  4. Login_Off
    Login_Off 23 January 2013 10: 00
    Check out the Wakipedia for questions on the space elevator. Hair on end will become about the number of problems.
    1. Wedmak
      Wedmak 23 January 2013 10: 04
      Yes, basically one big problem is to find the substance from which you can make a rope or tape 40 000 km long and not he / she will collapse from its own weight. The rest is completely solvable.
      1. Weterok
        Weterok 26 January 2013 21: 32
        Will nano fiber work? someone was already developing such a project and even looking for the most peaceful place on the planet somewhere in the Pacific Ocean on the islands ... if I find it, I'll post it ... I read it a long time ago ...
        it was proposed to use a tape made of nano fiber and lift the cab with a laser beam (the last one is wild for me since I am not aware of the laser capabilities)
  5. uhjpysq1
    uhjpysq1 23 January 2013 10: 00
    but what about the fact that the moon is moving away from the earth under the action of centrifugal forces)))))
    1. Wedmak
      Wedmak 23 January 2013 10: 09
      Very simple - the rope will itself be lengthened by stretching.
      1. Petrix
        Petrix 23 January 2013 10: 27
        It’s easier to lengthen a rope than to ask it the quality of stretching.
  6. Asgard
    Asgard 23 January 2013 11: 48
    Alas, gravity will destroy all plans. Everything that rotates in orbit will invariably fall to the ground. The cable (if ever created)) on such a free suspension (and even with a load)) will behave unpredictably-resonance, thermal (huge) reduction in the direction of increase-decrease, and in different sections of their own, the stations will have to constantly work with engines , correcting the orbit and resisting the attempts of the suspended load to pull it to the Earth .....
    and another thousand problems, I see as an engineer and a man who is not divorced from reality.
  7. Iraclius
    Iraclius 23 January 2013 14: 01
    Yeah ... But what about the winds? Cyclones? Storms? Hurricanes The cable will experience such loads that mom do not cry. Even the most advanced materials for the manufacture of cable are unsuitable. At the moment, the state of human science and technology allows us to say that the project is a pure utopia. No.
    1. sniper
      sniper 23 January 2013 14: 40
      Quote: Iraclius
      At the moment, the state of human science and technology allows us to say that the project is a pure utopia.

      Right now, yes! But science does not stand still, it is enough to recall the first airplanes, the first internal combustion engines, anything ... Any idea at first seemed utopian, but time passed ...
      1. Iraclius
        Iraclius 23 January 2013 14: 59
        Quote: sniper
        science does not stand still

        sniper, I am for it"! I am also sure that time will pass and people will remember with surprise that once cargo and people were delivered to near-earth orbit by primitive chemical rockets! belay

        To my shame, I learned about space elevators precisely from the works of A. Clark and about the primary source - the ideas of Yuri Artsutanov - I learned relatively recently.
        I can imagine what types will open from the windows of the elevator as they rise through the dense layers of the atmosphere higher and higher!
      2. Andof odessa
        Andof odessa 23 January 2013 15: 09
        Making an elevator from the earth to the moon is, in principle, pointless. But from the geostationary to the stratosphere where a VERY large airship hangs, it’s very interesting. After all, the main financial difficulties are not in moving in orbit but in entering orbit. And my question is, who knows the synthesis of nanotubes in orbit in zero gravity while no one has conducted? and Option EMPushki for the loading of goods, too, do not need to be discarded. There is a lot of work and hope for achievements in space. Although if you look deeper there are impressions that everything is done for PR and not for the real end result.
    2. studentmati
      studentmati 29 January 2013 00: 20
      Quote: Iraclius
      At the moment, the state of human science and technology allows us to say that the project is a pure utopia.

      Believe me, far from utopia.

      - For the first time such systems and methods of their application in space were described in 1895 by K.E. Tsiolkovsky in "Dreams of the Earth and the Sky".
      - In 1910 F.A. Zander put forward a project for a "space elevator" with a 60 km cable stretched from the surface of the Moon to the Earth. Under the influence of gravitational and centrifugal forces, such a cable will be constantly tensioned, and cargo can be transported along it, like on a cable car.
      - In the 20-30s. ideas K.E. Tsiolkovsky was reflected in the projects of the rotating cable space station Yu.V. Kondratyuk.
      - The ideas of F.A. Zander's space elevator was developed in the 60-70s. in the works of Yu.N. Artsutanov, who proposed a project for a cable stretched from the Earth's surface to a geostationary orbit and in the project of a cable "Earth's space necklace" by G.G. Polyakov.
      - In 1965, at RSC Energia (formerly TsKBM) under the leadership of S.P. Korolyov began preparations for the world's first space experiment with a tether system ... But after the death of S.P. Korolev, the project was closed, and work on cable systems at RSC Energia resumed only 20 years later.

      Today, the work continues, and this is not fantastic. Everything has its time.
  8. USNik
    USNik 23 January 2013 14: 51
    Japanese well done, good luck in their endeavor wassat
    In general, in 1950, it was proposed to go into orbit on a "piece of iron" on a "tram". Acceleration along Everest to a height of 9 km is taken, a string rail is added for another 100 kilometers, which is held by balls heated from the ground or autonomously, and for all this garbage the capsule is accelerated to Mach 6-8 ...
    1. Iraclius
      Iraclius 23 January 2013 15: 04
      Quote: USNik
      In general, in 1950, it was proposed to go into orbit on a "piece of iron" on a "tram". Acceleration along Everest to a height of 9 km is taken, a string rail is added for another 100 kilometers, which is held by balls heated from the ground or autonomously, and for all this garbage the capsule is accelerated to Mach 6-8 ...

      You will be surprised, but a similar idea was proposed in the USSR even earlier - by our science fiction writers A. Belyaev in the novel "The Star of the CEC" in 1936. There, interplanetary ships were also preliminarily accelerated along special rails laid in the Pamirs. good
  9. Sanches
    Sanches 23 January 2013 21: 23
    if such an elevator is blown up at the base and it falls, it will be better than any earthquake. on the moon - let them build, but not on earth
    1. Iraclius
      Iraclius 23 January 2013 21: 49
      Quote: Sanches
      if such an elevator is blown up at the base and it falls

      And how do you imagine such an elevator? Thick cable? And does the cabin creep along it? lol
      Something like that:

      No, to blow, of course, everything is possible. Yes, and vigilance can not be lost! soldier
      But with skillful manipulation, a space elevator can become a weapon of mass destruction - it will become, say, the USA impudent, but we don’t impudent it, otherwise the elevator will break and it will fall on you. And you will have earthquakes. tongue
      1. Sanches
        Sanches 24 January 2013 06: 52
        suppose it’s hard to imagine, but the fall of the space elevator is described in paints in science fiction, in my opinion in one of the books of the battletech series, and it seems ridiculous only until it is put into practice
  10. EDW
    EDW 23 January 2013 23: 02
    They also forgot about atmospheric electricity.
    When creating an installation with a cable from the Earth’s surface, a miracle construction has considerable chances to become a new type of power plant smile , even if the cable material is dielectric - do not forget about the rain (or is this a miracle in the desert planned?)
    And all kinds of icing and condensation at high altitudes are also not in favor of the project.
  11. pidluts
    pidluts 29 January 2013 17: 20
    RAVE!!! am But what about the rotation around the axis ??
    1. studentmati
      studentmati 1 February 2013 01: 23
      Not nonsense at all. Fundamentals of theoretical mechanics confirm this.
  12. Andriuha077
    Andriuha077 16 May 2013 13: 45
    The elevator through the libration point, patented by Russian scientists, the idea of ​​which the Soviet scientist Zander had expressed before the war, the American magazine attributed to the American inventor.