Found 3 comments on HN
wingspar · 2018-06-29 · Original thread
Read this space elevator book years ago, it was very interesting. I’m sure it needs an update after 15 years.
ericd · 2014-10-31 · Original thread
I wouldn't dismiss the space elevator out of hand. It requires carbon nanotubes of a few meters length to achieve the required strength, and you wouldn't need to lift it pre-built - you could build it with a guideline and cable laying cars traveling up and down, adding to the cable, much like they do with suspension bridges. Long term, it seems like far and away the best approach if we can solve the materials science problem.

EDIT: I found this book to be a pretty great primer on the subject:

ericd · 2014-02-26 · Original thread
If we can make one, it seems pretty obvious from the studies I've seen that it will be the major enabling technology for getting into space in a large way. Unfortunately, I don't think we've hit the carbon nanotube lengths that we'd need (on the order of meters).

Here's a great book that came out of a NASA funded study that breaks the issues down well, including costs, necessary tech, and methods for dealing with potential issues like cable breakage:

Their conclusion was that it would be much more cost effective than most people think, and that it would enable an incredible reduction in cost to orbit due to not needing to use a pyramid of fuel to carry other fuel for later, or enormous one-time-use precision machinery, and instead using simple containers with electric motors and transmitted electricity.

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