Re: shuttle disaster (space elevators)
Gary Turner writes:
> Not just impact.
Impact is the most likely cause of failure.
> If the elevator should part at the CG, 23,500 miles of material would
> fall to the East, nearly circumnavigating the globe.
The lower portion would not be heavy enough to do much damage. The upper
portion could be designed not to survive passage through the atmosphere.
> [Taper] would be more efficient, but is not *required*.
Required. Inter-atomic bonds are not strong enough to support an untapered
> The idea of "ribbons" seems a bad idea. Think of the vibratory forces.
People have already done so.
> I'm surprised no one has mentioned Robert A. Heinlein. He used the idea
> (space elevators--including construction and installation details) in
> several short stories and at least one novel, going back to at least the
> 60's, maybe earlier.
Dancing Horse Hill