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  • A space elevator is one of those ideas that sounds ultra crazy at first but when you learn

  • more about it, it still sounds absolutely crazy but you can see the upsides.

  • It's exactly what it sounds like, a giant elevator that you get in down here on earth

  • and step off of in freaking space.

  • You'd need an anchor on earth which would serve as the loading station for the elevator

  • car, a tether stretching into space for the car to travel along, and a counterweight way

  • out in space to keep the tether taught.

  • Designs vary but it looks like the counterweight could have to be as far as 100,000 kilometers

  • above the earth, more than a quarter the distance to the moon.

  • Sounds nuts, but for some it's not just a pie in the sky idea, it's something they're

  • actively working towards.

  • In September of 2018 researchers from Shizuoka University in Japan launched an experiment

  • to the ISS to test the practicality of one aspect of a space elevator.

  • The experiment involves two tiny cubic satellites connected by 10 meters of cable, with a small

  • container moving along the cable with a motor.

  • It's a far cry from a full fledged space elevator, but the goal was to show that locomotion

  • along a cable in space was possible.

  • The experiment is in collaboration with the construction firm Obayashi, which six years

  • prior announced plans to build a space elevator by 2050.

  • They're not the only ones toying with the idea; China intends to build one by 2045,

  • and NASA has commissioned studies to look into how feasible the idea is.

  • But hold up, why all the fuss about space elevators to begin with?

  • What's wrong with good old chemical powered rockets?

  • Well while we have rocket technology right now to lift payloads and people into space,

  • It's extremely costly.

  • According to SpaceX, It costs roughly $2,700 to put one kilogram of cargo into low earth

  • orbit.

  • An elevator to space would be a massive construction project, but by one estimate, once built,

  • could cost as little as $200 to get one kilogram into space.

  • Meaning I would only need $13,000 to get off this planet, as opposed to $175,000.

  • Obayashi estimates it would cost about $90 billion to make a space elevator, but compared

  • to the cost of conventional rockets it would recoup that once it had lifted about 4.5 thousand

  • tonnes, which is about the weight of 11 International space stations.

  • A space elevator would open up so many possibilities, like building and launching ships in orbit.

  • Hello Starfleet.

  • It could make trips to Mars less fuel intensive, because a ship could plummet towards Earth

  • like an Olympic high diver, using Earth's gravity to boost it on to the red planet.

  • Tourists could make trips up regularly.

  • Just get in, listen to girl from Ipanema, make awkward small talk for a few thousand

  • kilometers and get the selfie of a lifetime.

  • Flat Earthers could finally see what we have been trying to explain to them all along!

  • There is literally no reason not to do this!

  • Except that we can't do it yet.

  • Sure, we could build many of the components with the materials we have today, like the

  • anchor on earth, the counterweight out in space, and the elevator car itself.

  • But the actual tether that holds the whole thing together, that makes it a space elevator,

  • is an extreme challenge.

  • As of today there's no material strong and light enough to stretch 100,000 kilometers

  • into space.

  • That's almost 2 and a half times earth's circumference.

  • The material has to be resistant to weather, radiation, and orbital debris.

  • The closest thing to that right now are carbon nanotubes, which can be 100 times stronger

  • than steel.

  • But they're difficult to make longer than a few centimeters, which is about 100,000

  • km short of the goal.

  • Still, Japanese scientists are committed to building a lift to the heavens, and the first

  • stop will be proving a elevator car can travel along a 10 meter cable in space.

  • If you liked this video subscribe because where else are you going to learn about more

  • cool nanocarbon structures like schwarzites.

  • This video, that's where.

  • Carbon nanotubes were discovered by a Japanese researcher, and their expertise is part of

  • why they are more dedicated to building a space elevator than most other countries.

  • Thanks for watching, I'll see you next time on Seeker!

A space elevator is one of those ideas that sounds ultra crazy at first but when you learn

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B2 中高級 美國腔

我们距太空电梯仅一步之遥(We’re One Step Closer to a Space Elevator)

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    joey joey 發佈於 2021 年 04 月 26 日
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