March 18, 2008


I think we should build the space elevator at least in homage to Arthur C Clarke, if not for the prospect that it could open space up, the new frontier. Solar power has no limit in collection area in space, and if energy can be beamed down safely, then it would deliver the scale of energy we seem to need as time goes on. Blasting rockets should be seen as an antiquated method of entering space. It should be campaigned as the interstate highway program was. We should keep reaching for it.

All we need is insane, insane tensile strength.

Here is one of my early posts illustrating thespace elevator, it's packed with links:


I don't have a lot of time for explicatin', moving through the rapids of my calendar as I am...

But while it's nice to watch the Space Shuttle live online, I can't help but think that while they are busy sawing off a little piece of foam, the freak out sweat-the-load levels going on there remind me of the (fortunately) hapless Richard Ried -the terrorist shoe bomber- and how afterward all the airport screeners had everyone doff our shoes at the gate. We tend to move as a society in such a blinkered manner...

In other words, why can't we imagineer our problem solving to anticipate various outcomes instead of anticipating only what had already just happened? We keep living in the recent past, even as we all hurtle into our asymptotic future.

Am I making sense here, people? Maybe not, but this level of clarity in this little rant is the best I can do on the fly!

Moving on...

My bigger point is: maybe it's time to shelve this space shuttle episode and...

...move on...



(Artwork image taken from

Here's a snippet from an article in

Forget the roar of rocketry and those bone jarring liftoffs, the elevator would be a smooth 62,000-mile (100,000-kilometer) ride up a long cable. Payloads can shimmy up the Earth-to-space cable, experiencing no large launch forces, slowly climbing from one atmosphere to a vacuum.

Earth orbit, the Moon, Mars, Venus, the asteroids and beyond - they are routinely accessible via the space elevator. And for all its promise and grandeur, this mega-project is made practical by the tiniest of technologies - carbon nanotubes.

Lots of good information at

The proposed Space Elevator bears very little resemblance to the space elevators of science fiction. Rather than a cable as big around as a sequoia, it will be about the size of a sheet of paper. Rather than huge trains running up and down on magnetic tracks, climbers the size of a dump truck will grip the ribbon between two rollers and pull themselves up. Rather than a captured asteroid as a counterweight, it will use the left-over construction equipment.

For more links:

Check out this site, Blaise Gassend's super geek treatment (remember, the geeks brought us the internet among other things). Be sure to click around, there's a lot of basic homework done there.

Check out the Wikipedia page for the basic concept. (Image source). Pretty good stuff.

Here's the space elevator blog.



From one end of the scale to the other....

It's all about the nanotechnology, yo:

Nanotechnology has been harnessed to kill cancer cells without harming healthy tissue. The technique works by inserting microscopic synthetic rods called carbon nanotubules into cancer cells.

When the rods are exposed to near-infra red light from a laser they heat up, killing the cell, while cells without rods are left unscathed.

I informed that I was using their image, and they send their blessings:

Thanks for your support, the blog looks great. I don't know if you knew, but that's the image that's going to be on the front cover of our book coming out in September.

Take care,
Michael J. Laine,


I second Michael's reply. Thanks for caring and for blogging.

Every expression of support for the space elevator concept, and Liftport in particular, means a great deal.

Ad astra.

Brian Dunbar
System Administrator

Heads up!

Posted by Dennis at March 18, 2008 7:09 PM

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