X-Message-Number: 22735
From: "Brett Bellmore" <>
References: <>
Subject: Re: CryoNet #22731 Space
Date: Sun, 26 Oct 2003 07:47:23 -0500

 There is no unobtainium magic material in that scheme, the tower is made of
 aramide, the rocket may be a simple first stage of a present day booster,
 tether is  a kevlar-aramide element, the NTR could be a scaled down version
 the 40 years old Nerva... The problem is political not technical.
>van Bozzonetti."

Carbon nanotubes, which are more than sufficient for a ground to
geosynchronous orbit tether, are hardly "unobtainium" these days. The
material exists now, it's just a question of improved manufacturing. And a
tether in tension is at least naturally stable, which is more than can be
said for a tower in compression.


The basic problem with your proposal, though it might be workable
technically, is that it requires the development of four separate systems,
resulting in a huge multiplication of potential failure modes. In
particular, I'm dubious about launching a chemical booster from the top of
an inflated tower. Balloons and huge rockets with a significant tendency to
explode do not mix well.

Brett Bellmore

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