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 |

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 ( 1 )

Related News Stories - (" Space Tech ")

Caihong Solar-Powered Drone 'Atmospheric Satellite'
'... placed in the wings of a plane to generate power from the light falling on that surface.' - John W. Campbell, 1930.

NASA Wants Low Earth Orbit Wifi
'This was the center of Interplanetary Communications.' - George O. Smith, 1942.

The Space Suit As Personal Spaceship
'Darn clever, these suits...' - Jack Williamson, 1933.

Pent-Up NASA Scientists Simulate Life On Mars
'That gives it complete isolation.' - David H. Keller, 1932.

 

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

PassivDom 3D Printed House - What If You Could Live Anywhere?
'The houses are prefabricated units...'

Breakthrough In Manufacture Of Red Blood Cells
This blood's for you!

Caihong Solar-Powered Drone 'Atmospheric Satellite'
'... placed in the wings of a plane to generate power from the light falling on that surface.'

NASA Wants Low Earth Orbit Wifi
'This was the center of Interplanetary Communications.'

Is Genetic Testing At Businesses A Bad Idea?
It's not a topic that fares well in science fiction movies-

Wearable Smart Jacket
He pressed the button in his sleeve communicator and snapped: 'Action stations!'

Store One Bit On One Atom
'...each individual molecule has a meaning.'

Fluorescent Bacteria Fashion
'The racks of gowns itched and quivered, their colors running into blurred pools.'

Keith Laumer's Bolo Autonomous Tanks Right On Schedule
'I cannot lie idle under attack.'

When Computers Develop Their Own Language, Will They Talk To Us?
'The curious absent look of a robot talking on the TBR circuits - the Talk Between Robots radio...'

LipNet Reads Lips - Until Disconnected, That Is
'We'd have to cut his higher brain functions... I'm not sure what [HAL} would think about that.'

Eterni.me - To Skype With The Dead
'Nothing... left of Jeserac but a galaxy of electrons frozen in the heart of a crystal.'

Wearable MRI Is Former Occulus/Facebook Exec's New Project
'Your cephalochromoscope... that you always turn on and play when you get home...'

Ford Stratasys Infinte Build 3D Printer
'He proudly indicated his Buick... Almost as good as the original it was printed from...'

The Space Suit As Personal Spaceship
'Darn clever, these suits...'

Dune Fans! Your God Emperor Is Ready
'If one held a sandtrout in the hand, smoothing it over your skin, it formed a living glove.'

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.