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Comments on Inflatable Space Tower Prototype Assembled
A twenty-foot prototype of an inflatable tower that could potentially reach out of the atmosphere has fans of David Brin's Sundiver interested. (Read the complete story)

"Wasn't Arthur Clarke's elevator earlier? Fountains of Paradise 1979?"
(Sabre Runner 6/10/2009 12:42:11 AM)
"It was indeed. Sundiver came out in 1980. However the technology is different. Clarke was describing a full on Space Elevator that went from the surface of the Earth to Geostationary orbit. The Needles in Brin's book are 20 mile high platforms that put rockets above most of the atmosphere before they're launched. The New Scientist article specifically describes the inflatable tower concept as an alternative to a space elevator."
(Erik Nodacker 6/10/2009 5:39:43 AM)
"The first person to think of the idea of a space elevator was Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, who was inspired by seeing the Eiffel Tower in 1895. Arthur C. Clarke greatly popularized the idea by describing in minute detail how humanity might build one in his 1978 novel The Fountains of Paradise (still an excellent story, by the way!). Read more about Clarke's description of the space elevator (or orbital tower) from the novel."
(Bill Christensen 6/10/2009 8:15:32 AM)
"'pseudo science-fiction space battles copied from twenty-century magazines' ... in the '70s and '80s, print s.f. people seemed to think they were in some kind of competition for legitimacy with other media, as part of which they would pretend TV and movies didn't exist ..."
(of course the most iconic space-battle imagery was 6/10/2009 4:40:22 PM)
"This is soooo cool! I wonder about the winds and how the cold would affect the materials. Did model what those effects would be?"
(Mickey Dee 6/15/2009 3:44:48 PM)
"So for the final version, put thin wire coils in the center tube every so often and you have yourself a 15km rail gun! The three outer tube diameters could be graded (biggest at the top) so that the weight of the entire structure is negative and less sensitive to wind shear. Cool stuff. Tim Lesher Portland, OR"
(Tim Lesher 6/19/2009 12:30:31 PM)
"Good 2003 article here on the state of space elevator development -"
(richard 6/20/2009 1:31:51 PM)

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