Space Elevators: An Assessment of the Technological Feasibility and the Way Forward

 

This book addresses the simple and complex issues that have been identified through the development of space elevator concepts over the last decade. The report begins with a summary of those ideas in Edwards' and Westling's book The Space Elevator (2003). Out of these beginnings has risen a worldwide cadre focused upon their areas of expertise as applied to space elevator development and operational infrastructure. The report answers some basic questions about the feasibility of a space elevator infrastructure. A preview of the main questions and answers shows the depth and breadth of this Cosmic Study.

•Why a space elevator?
•Can it be done?
•How would all the elements fit together to create a system of systems?
•What are the technical feasibility of each major space elevator element?

This study was conducted under the auspices of the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) and benefited from review and comments by numerous members of the Academy, as well as the International Space Elevator Consortium. The study could not have been completed to this level of detail without the timely and invaluable efforts of a diverse collection of experts from around the world who contributed not only their time and knowledge, but also provided material as well as their technical expertise for the study. There were 41 authors and 5 editors.

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