Liftport Closer To Space Elevator Goal

Liftport Group has moved one step closer to making a working space elevator this past week. They announced that a waiver from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will allow them to use airspace to conduct preliminary tests of a high altitude robotic lifter.


(Prototype lifter - front view)

The tests are planned for early this fall. The intent is to simulate a working space elevator by launching a model elevator ribbon attached to moored balloon initially up to a mile high. The robotic lifters will be tested for their ability to climb up and down the free-hanging ribbon. This would be the first-ever test of this technology with an eye to the eventual development of a working space elevator.


(Prototype robotic lifter - demonstration model)

The earliest and most famous of the science fiction treatments of the space elevator is found in Arthur C. Clarke's 1978 novel The Fountains of Paradise. In the novel, he also writes about a "spider" that is used for testing the ribbon of cable that extends all the way up to orbit:

The flimsy spider - a prototype test vehicle that looked like a motorized bo'sun's chair - had already made a dozen ascents to twenty kilometers, with twice the load it would be carrying now.
(Read more about the space elevator spider)

The Liftport group is serious about building a working space elevator by 2018. Recent developments in carbon nanotube ribbons (see Carbon Nanotube Ribbon For Space Elevator) have greatly increased speculation that a space elevator might be possible.

Read more at Space Elevator Gets FAA Lift and the Liftport Group.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 9/18/2005)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 8 )

Related News Stories - (" Space Tech ")

Nifty New SDS Space Debris Sensor For ISS
'Their radars... could easily pinpoint the debris of the early Space Age.' Arthur C. Clarke, 1978.

NanoRacks Space Station Module Concept Validated
Space junk into space architecture.

Interstellar Asteroid Visits Our Solar System
'This asteroid had whirled in from the cold of the interplanetary space...' - Ray Cummings, 1930.

UM Hall Thruster Breaks Records
Someday, we'll see an ion drive used to get to Mars.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Orwell's Memory Hole Looms Larger Thanks To Nvidia
'All history was a palimpsest, scraped clean and reinscribed exactly as often as was necessary.'

Pipefish Robot Checks Pipes Cheap
Just like capsule endoscopy, but for bigger pipes. That go underground.

Nifty New SDS Space Debris Sensor For ISS
'Their radars... could easily pinpoint the debris of the early Space Age.'

NanoRacks Space Station Module Concept Validated
Space junk into space architecture.

Nuclear Drones Could Fly For Years
'I sent my eyes on their rounds and tended my gallery of one hundred-thirty changing pictures...'

SciFiQ Science Fiction Writing Aid
'Books were just a commodity that had to be produced, like jam or bootlaces.'

Robot Only Faster, Not Better, At Recycling
'Whenever a robot finds something it can't identify straight off... it puts whatever it is in the hopper outside your window.'

Poland Starts With 1000 Warmate 'Suicide Drones'
'Royal Security had told the pods to electrocute you or blast you into chum.'

Dream Of Building Your Own Rocket?
Fiorello Bodoni, you inspire all of us.

Zero Mass 'Vaporators' Pull Drinking Water From The Air
Did you think of Star Wars?

Elon Musk Fears A 'Fleet-Wide Hack' Of Autonomous Vehicles
'Khan grinned. 'It's alive! Bu-wahhahahah!''

China Melts Tibetan Permafrost To Plant Forest
'Can you give us a microwave spotlight?'

iFlytek Doctor Robot First To Pass Medical Exams
Doctor shortage? No problem, we'll just use the autodoc.

Slaughterbot AI KIller Quadcopter Drones
'The real border was defended by... a swarm of quasi-independent aerostats.'

Do We Really Want Backflipping Robots?
Also includes wonderful blooper reel.

RNA-Based Biocomputing Device
Living things can sense and analyze complex signals in living cells.

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.