a fair and balanced birdthing (raaven) wrote,
a fair and balanced birdthing
raaven

Moon tourism in my lifetime?

Perth in race for lift rides into space

PERTH is one of two spots in the world being considered for development of a space elevator, a new concept in space travel which it is claimed would make possible tourism on the Moon.

A space elevator - an alternative to rockets and shuttles - would consist of a 100,000km ribbon of super-strong carbon-based material.

It would act like the cable in the centre of a lift, with lift cars which could take people into space and back. The earth end of the ribbon would be connected to a terminal floating on the ocean about 100km off the coast which would use Perth Airport as an international contact point.

Each lift car would be able to carry up to six people, with luggage and air supply. Travellers would be taken as a first step 100,000km into space to a space station. The station could be connected to more ribbons for journeys on to the moon or beyond.

The bizarre concept, a science fiction dream for decades, is being investigated by Seattle-based company HighLift Systems. The company is trying to get a meeting with Premier Geoff Gallop and Federal Science Minister Peter McGauran.

The United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration has given $960,000 in seed funding plus another grant of an unknown sum for the project, which has been given momentum by the Columbia shuttle disaster.

More money for the project is being sought from NASA.

But with a start-up cost of $17 billion, the idea needs strong US and Australian government support.

HighLift claims the cost of each elevator launch would be less than 5 per cent of a shuttle or a rocket, making it feasible for a tourist industry to the moon in 20 to 30 years.

HighLift's preferred venue is west of Ecuador in the Pacific Ocean but initial investigations have found the Indian Ocean off Perth could be more suitable.

Company criteria includes a location:


Within 45 degrees latitude of the Equator (Perth is 31 degrees south).

VOn a gentle ocean, with lower than average tidal movements.


Access to land, a city and international airport.


In or near an economically advanced and politically stable country.

HighLift Systems spokesman Bradley Edwards said the hurdle had been finding a strong enough material to make the elevator. Carbon-nanotube-composite ribbon had solved the problem.

A spokesman for the National Space Society of Australia, an amateur space enthusiasts' society with international links, Tony James, said the concept was feasible.


(via
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<a href="http://www.thewest.com.au/20030213/news/perth/tw-news-perth-home-sto87820.html">Perth in race for lift rides into space</a>

PERTH is one of two spots in the world being considered for development of a space elevator, a new concept in space travel which it is claimed would make possible tourism on the Moon.

<lj-cut text="complete article"> A space elevator - an alternative to rockets and shuttles - would consist of a 100,000km ribbon of super-strong carbon-based material.

It would act like the cable in the centre of a lift, with lift cars which could take people into space and back. The earth end of the ribbon would be connected to a terminal floating on the ocean about 100km off the coast which would use Perth Airport as an international contact point.

Each lift car would be able to carry up to six people, with luggage and air supply. Travellers would be taken as a first step 100,000km into space to a space station. The station could be connected to more ribbons for journeys on to the moon or beyond.

The bizarre concept, a science fiction dream for decades, is being investigated by Seattle-based company HighLift Systems. The company is trying to get a meeting with Premier Geoff Gallop and Federal Science Minister Peter McGauran.

The United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration has given $960,000 in seed funding plus another grant of an unknown sum for the project, which has been given momentum by the Columbia shuttle disaster.

More money for the project is being sought from NASA.

But with a start-up cost of $17 billion, the idea needs strong US and Australian government support.

HighLift claims the cost of each elevator launch would be less than 5 per cent of a shuttle or a rocket, making it feasible for a tourist industry to the moon in 20 to 30 years.

HighLift's preferred venue is west of Ecuador in the Pacific Ocean but initial investigations have found the Indian Ocean off Perth could be more suitable.

Company criteria includes a location:


Within 45 degrees latitude of the Equator (Perth is 31 degrees south).

VOn a gentle ocean, with lower than average tidal movements.


Access to land, a city and international airport.


In or near an economically advanced and politically stable country.

HighLift Systems spokesman Bradley Edwards said the hurdle had been finding a strong enough material to make the elevator. Carbon-nanotube-composite ribbon had solved the problem.

A spokesman for the National Space Society of Australia, an amateur space enthusiasts' society with international links, Tony James, said the concept was feasible.
</lj-cut>

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