See, This Kind of Thing Scares the Hell Out of Me…

…it’s a gigantic elevator, for Pete’s sake!

From the Earth to a space station.

It takes a week to get there, even though this thing travels at approximately 125mph.

For me, it’s just scary.

The questions it raises..

Like, you expect me to hold *it* for a week?  If not, where’s the bathroom for me and the 29 other people on board?  What will that added weight, not to mention the *sanitary* issues do to passengers’ safety?

Look at that thing.  That’s a mighty skinny umbilical from Earth to the station.

Suppose one of the *455,237 pieces of space junk orbiting the Earth at any given time slams into it? 

What if someone develops claustrophobia?  Or bubonic plague? Avian flu?

We are trapped people!

Trapped.

Which is why I won’t get on this particular elevator and am looking, carefully, at the control panel of every elevator I do get on – starting now, because you can’t be too careful – and if any of them list 10,000+ floors I am getting off.

I’m left wondering…why…no, really..why?  Why, why, why?

*this may not be a real number, and may be based on my fear of space junk

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Posted on February 28, 2012, in Posts, Random Crap, What the flippity-flop? and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. Japan is sorta rushing the premise on it. I’d have to find the article, but NASA is planning for the US space elevator planned for 2025 to get into orbit in just 12-18 hours.

    Of course with all the economic crap going around, I doubt that’s the target anymore, especially since the restructuring of NASA and cancellation of the shuttle program.

    • Still doesn’t tell me WHY?

      • Conservation of resources. Over the long run a space elevator will require far less resources to maintain the link to space. It will also allow for the establishment of space platforms for extra-orbital building, pretty much THE essential tool required in order to even think about populating other planets.

        Really, we’re not going to ever be able to go much further than Mars without an orbital launch platform. And the only way to make that really feasible is with a space elevator.

      • Yes, but what about the sheer madness of the “space junk” tangent? I mean, one wonky satellite and it’s goodnight Irene. *shudders*

      • That’s primarily why it’s going to take until 2050-2075 to actually make it work. 80% of the technology to make a space elevator work already exists. One of the missing pieces, however, is the technology to start cleaning up all the space crap in orbit, or to provide armor for the elevator that will easily resist such impact (or indeed to develop some kind of electronic shielding to deflect or catch incoming projectiles).

        That’s one of the things that NASA is more conservative about. They expect that technology to be a little further in the future than Japan does. But, 33 years is a lot of time, maybe Japan’s optimism is not so misplaced given the amount of attention “space junk” is receiving from various space organizations.

        And your tracking number is actually a low ball. The number of pieces of tracked debris in orbit right now is around 580,000, a number figured to triple by 2030 if measures aren’t developed to mitigate this problem.

      • Sweet orbiting missiles! 580,000?? I’m getting a really good hard hat.

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