Hephaestus's Blog

A Different Kind of Space Elevator
August 27, 2015, 07:04
Filed under: Space stuff

In my space elevator post last Thursday, I mentioned a different kind of ‘space elevator’ patented by Thoth Technology Inc. This is an intriguing concept, and I thought I would share it.

While a normal space elevator is a tensile structure reaching out past geostationary orbit, the concept by Thoth is rather… different.

Their idea is a 20 km-tall tower, “pneumatically pressurized” (inflatable), with elevators inside. On the top of the tower would be, essentially, a spaceport, from which spaceplanes could launch, thus beginning their journey above the thickest parts of the atmosphere.

According to Thoth Technology’s website, the tower could also be used for wind power generation and tourism (the latter presumably via some sort of observation deck).

While this tower would probably be quite the undertaking to build, not to mention becoming by far the tallest structure in the world, mind-bogglingly high by any measure save that of space elevators, it would still be many times easier to build than a bona fide Tsiolkovsky-Artsutanov space elevator.

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