Russia Studies Space-Elevator Clusters For Moon
Russia's Space Research Institute has been studying the idea of a space-elevator cluster to economically deliver payloads from the Earth to the Moon and back.
According to Russian studies and experiments, the space-elevator cluster should consist of several cable systems. The first is in a low circular Earth orbit, and the second in a low elliptical Earth orbit. The third cable system would be in a circular equatorial lunar orbit. By adjusting the length of the tethers, it will be possible to change each orbital system's angular speed of rotation.
Mission payloads would be exchanged from one orbital cableway to another. Payloads from Earth to the Moon would be placed in first system, which would "sling" them higher to the second system, and then to the Moon, where payloads would be caught by the third system.
The intent of this system is to save on the huge energy costs of moving freight to the Moon. According to the Space Research Institute, the new system will weigh 28 times less than the payload it will deliver to the Moon during its entire service life. In comparison, the fuel burned by conventional rocket engines will weigh 16 time more than their payload.
In reading about this, I found myself wondering where the energy for this will come from. Conservation of energy requires that the lowest tether, once it transfers energy to the payload, and boosting it higher, will fall to a lower orbit. How will it be raised again?
(MXER tether system slings payload)
One way is suggested by TUI, which is looking at using special tethers (cables) that can "push" against the Earth's magnetic field to move back up into position.
(MXER tether system regains orbital attitude)
This "new" Russian technology is starting to look a lot like the MXER - Momentum-eXchange/Electrodynamic Reboost tether technology - now under development by NASA. MXER research is proceeding in five different research areas: aerocapture; advanced chemical propulsion; solar electric propulsion; solar sail technologies; and space-based tether propulsion.
With the entry of the Russians into this area, it sounds like the race to build a "space railway" - a system of cableways that can sling payloads to the moon - is well underway.
Interested in space tethers? Check these out:
Read more about the Russian space-elevator clusters and NASA's MXER technology.
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 12/4/2006)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 1 )
Related News Stories -
Russian Space Garden
'We saw the gardens, flooded with artificial sunlight...' - Harley S. Aldinger, 1932.
Make Space Tools On The Spot (Like Moties)
'A moment ago it was squeezing silver toothpaste in a ribbon...' - Niven and Pournelle, 1974.
Bacteria Behave Differently In Space
'The Republic struggled to control its Sours...' - Bruce Sterling, 1985.
SpaceX Spacesuit Design Transmitted By Elon Musk
Welcome, SpaceX, to the club of space suit imaginers and makers.
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.
effie Automated Ironing Appliance
'Household Automata received an urgent task to develop production units of бытовые тканевые разглаживатели - a household fabric smoother.'
BabyX AI Real Enough For You
'...what's to keep me from showing face, Man? I'm showing a voice this instant... I can show a face the same way.'
We Could Downgrade Puerto Rico - And Thereby Save It
'It was cheaper to pay the refugees to go without up-to-the-minute equipment.'
Pegasus, Nvidia Supercomputer For Autonomous Driving
'...a 2045 convertible with a Hennis-Carleton positronic motor and an Armat chassis.'
Loihi Chip Mimics Human Brain's Neurons And Synapses
'You can hook a Thorsen tube into a control circuit... and the tube will "remember" what was done and can direct the operation...'
Self-Assembling Bacteria Build A Pressure Sensor
Nature is a master of fabricating structured materials consisting of living and non-living components.
3D Printed Artificial Muscles Are Stronger Than Yours
Bots don't need to work out.
Fog Computing (AKA Edge Computing) Ad Hoc Networks
'The tiny devices chirped their impulse codes at one another...'
Dubai Scorpion Police Hoverbike Ready To Pull Young Kirk Over
'Is there a problem, officer?'
Korean Tesla Model S Video 'Excelsior' Is Indeed Our Motto
'Improving man by bringing him close to Nature, while they combine the sensations of coasting with the interest of seeing the country well...'
HEXA Robotic Help For Plants
Then some unknown race had chanced upon the dreamers and decided to "help them out."
DIY Robot Shoots You In The Face
'...there were automatic guns that fired ligamine darts.'
A Bayesian Approach to Safe Imitation Learning For AIs and Robots
Um, how about that pension for the humans who serve as the models for robot behavior?
Qoobo Headless Robotic Therapy Cat Was Anne McCaffrey's Idea
'...used as surrogates in intense dependency cases.'
Autonomous Cars Talk To Each Other At MCity
'My cars talk to one another.'
PUFFER Robots - From Philip K DIck's Second Variety?
'Across the ground something small and metallic came, flashing in the dull sunlight of midday.'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories