Question Scifi Science Checkup

fsci123

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Hi everybody... Me and a couple friends have been compiling video for a 30minute scifi mockumentary we are planning to make. The mockumentary revolves around a series of events leading to the terrorist caused collapse of a space elevator.

The planet on which the space elevator is located is a tiny bit smaller than venus and has a 14 hour day.

My following questions include:


  • Is there a material other than CNT that could be made into the space elevator cable?

  • And what is the maximum mass that can be on any single cable?


If i have any more questions i will post...
 

Urwumpe

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Is there a material other than CNT that could be made into the space elevator cable?

There are a few possible alternatives, but non can be as easily mass produced as CNT potentially can.

And what is the maximum mass that can be on any single cable?

Depends on the material of the cable. The more excess tensile strength there is, additionally to keeping the cable under control and the weight of the cable itself, the more it can carry.
 

Artlav

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Sounds familiar, wasn't there a story like that set on Mars, by some well-known author?

Considering mass of the cable - don't overdo it into an apocalyptic event.
It should all burn up in the atmosphere, not whiplash around the planet wiping all life on it.
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Gerdih

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Do it with diamond as Arthur Clarke, you just need to blow up a Jupiter sized planet.:lol:
 

T.Neo

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If I understand correctly, the higher rotation rate and slightly lower mass of your planet will reduce the tensile strength required for the cable, which may expand the list of materials it could be constructed out of.
 

palebluevoice

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If I understand correctly, the higher rotation rate and slightly lower mass of your planet will reduce the tensile strength required for the cable, which may expand the list of materials it could be constructed out of.

Well yeah, that's because they reduce the gravity and effective gravity respectively. I can build it out of paper machete if there's 0 effective gravity.
 

T.Neo

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Well yeah, that's because they reduce the gravity and effective gravity respectively.

If I remember correctly, the most noticable effect of lower gravity and a higher rotation rate is that they both reduce the altitude of synchronous orbit, which in turn reduces the necessary length for the cable. On the other hand, rotation doesn't noticably reduce gravity at the equator, at least on Earth (though things may differ elsewhere).
 

fsci123

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Well according to the story... There are several structures that are attached to the cable that extend miles into the space(solar arrays, radio antennas, observation decks, hotels, etc). Then there several large conductive cables that transfer high voltage DC electricity to the local electric grid. There are 4 main elevators that transfer cargo(very rarely people) into geosynchronous orbit and 2 smaller ones that carry people into observation decks and hotels.
Most of the destruction is caused by 120 km of solar panel and conductive cable falling to the ground and several tons of cargo hitting various towers below...

By the way does anybody know any equations that could help me calculate a required material?:thumbup:
 
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