Thoth Technology Inc., a private Canadian company, has earned a patent on a 20 kilometer (12 miles) high space elevator structure that has the potential to revolutionize the future of space travel.
Thoth Technology company specializes in miniature light-weight gadgets for outer space, however they have now earned a US patent for an elevator structure, the design of which will make the Dubai's 3 000 feet high Bourj Khalifa seem tiny in comparison.
The goal of the project is to design a more efficient way to launch astronauts into space: "The technology offers an exciting new way to access space using completely reusable hardware and saving more than 30% of the fuel of a conventional rocket," Thoth company stated.
Canadian company Thoth Technology has been granted a patent for a space elevator that raises space-bound cargo... http://t.co/cT4gaBQPAF— Physics Today (@PhysicsToday) August 17, 2015
Launching from a platform 20 kilometers (12 miles) over the Earth's surface will require a lot less energy, contrary to the rockets that spend huge amounts of energy, because they need to counter the gravitational force during their flight and overcome the atmospheric drag. Instead, the plan is to design the elevator to take the astronauts to the stratoshpere, where atmospheric pressure is extremely low and they can be launched into the orbit.
The pneumatically pressurized space elevator will consist of shafts that are made up of inflatable segments, and will have cars run on either wheels or an electromagnetic drive going up and down the tower.
"Astronauts would ascent to 20 kilometers (12 miles) by the electrical elevator. From the top of the tower, space planes will launch in a single stage to orbit, returning to the top of the tower for refueling or reflight," the inventor of the space elevator, Brian Quine explained,
Thoth CEO Caroline Roberts believes the patent will revolutionize space travel: "Landing on a barge at sea level is a great demonstration. But landing at 12 miles above sea level will make space flight more like taking a passenger jet."
The project might provide new opportunities for the tourism, as well. For example, the platform could hold the hotels, with amazing views and the tower could be used by skydivers.
The idea of a space elevator has gained a lot of support all around the globe. For example, the Japanese Obayashi Corporation is also planning to build a space elevator which could reach a quarter of the way to the Moon by 2050.
Video credit: This is Genius
Featured image: Artist's impression of the space elevator. Image credit: This is Genius
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