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Google's secret lab admits to exploring space elevator designs

Posted in Science on 17th Apr, 2014 01:30 AM by AlexMuller

Space elevators are the dream solution to all of humanity's space access problems. It's an idea that many have decried as sci-fi nonsense, but don't tell the engineers at Google X that. Rich DeVaul, head of Google X's Rapid Evaluation team, went on record that Google had indeed looked into the creation of a space elevator.


In fact, DeVaul and his team seem to have whipped up a space elevator design that would, in his words, "take you from ground to orbit with a net of basically zero energy." That's a pretty amazing result.

The news isn't entirely good, however. As quick as it was designed, Google X's space elevator was put on ice. The reason: material science hasn't caught up with the project's needs quite yet. As we've heard before, the elevator's cable would need to be an order of magnitude stronger than anything modern steel can accomplish. As others have realized, Google X came up with the idea that carbon nanotubes would foot the bill quite nicely.

Unfortunately, since the longest carbon nanotube yet to be constructed is only about a meter long, space is pretty much out for the time being. That being said, once carbon nanotube technology matures (and it'll probably be a while), Google just might defrost its grandiose space elevator plans and give us all that cheap access to orbit that we've been dreaming of.

Tags: GoogleGoogle Xspace elevatorspace

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Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-04-17
I am not surprised that Google is pursuing some conceptually near impossible project if they could provide a breakthrough ultimately - whatever progress that make now with the space elevator will give them an advantage if and when the technology progress so that the idea has a potential for realisation
2 Replies
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-04-17
Technology is advancing fast and long carbon nanotubes could we available sooner than expected - why not consider their use as a possible solution Reply


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