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Achievable space elevators for space transportation and starship accelerationSpace elevator concepts for low-cost space launches are reviewed. Previous concepts suffered from requirements for ultra-high-strength materials, dynamically unstable systems, or from danger of collision with space debris. The use of magnetic grain streams solves these problems. Magnetic grain streams can support short space elevators for lifting payloads cheaply into Earth orbit, overcoming the material strength problem in building space elevators. Alternatively, the stream could support an international spaceport circling the Earth daily tens of miles above the equator, accessible to advanced aircraft. Mars could be equipped with a similar grain stream, using material from its moons Phobos and Deimos. Grain-stream arcs about the sun could be used for fast launches to the outer planets and for accelerating starships to near lightspeed for interstellar reconnaisance. Grain streams are essentially impervious to collisions, and could reduce the cost of space transportation by an order of magnitude.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Pearson, Jerome
(Air Force Flight Dynamics Lab. Wright-Patterson AFB, OH, United States)
Date Acquired
September 6, 2013
Publication Date
April 1, 1990
Publication Information
Publication: NASA. Lewis Research Center, Vision-21: Space Travel for the Next Millennium
Subject Category
Launch Vehicles And Space Vehicles
Accession Number
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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