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This Awesome 20-km-high ‘space elevator’ can revolutionise how astronauts get into space

A massive “space elevator” tower standing nearly 20 kilometres (12.4 miles) high has been patented in the America and the England by a Canadian corporation that’s looking for change about how astronauts get into earth’s orbit. Thoth Technology, which specializes in technology linked to space travel and defense, has been working on ThothX Tower: a separate, partly inflated structure with a runway at the top that can help space shuttles to liftoff directly into Earth’s stratosphere. The notion is that by launching space shuttle into the earth’s orbit from this altitude – which is 24 times taller than the world’s present tallest building, Dubai’s Burj Khalifa in the United Arab Emirates – as much as 30 percent of the energy used in a an ordinary rocket launch could be saved, apparently making it easier, inexpensive and more environmentally friendly to get cosmonauts into space. As Quine puts it in the patent:
Image Tecnology: Thoth Technology

*Traditionally, regions above 50 km in altitude can only be accessed using rocketry, where mass is expelled at high velocity in order to achieve thrust in the opposite direction. This process is extremely inefficient as rockets must counter the gravitational force during the flight by carrying mass in the form of propellant and must overcome atmospheric drag. In contrast, if a payload is hauled to space or near space along an elevator system, the work done is significantly less as no expulsion mass must be carried to do work against gravity, and lower ascent speeds in the lower atmosphere can virtually eliminate atmospheric drag.*

Brendan Quine, the inventor of the space elevator concept, in a press release said“Astronauts would ascend to 20 km by 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 refuelling and reflight,”

While the idea of using such super-high towers for astronomical dedications isn’t new (sci-fi author Arthur C Clarke recommended the idea back in the 1970s, as perceived by the patent), we’ve never had a resources of building such a huge structure that could maintain its own weight and bear high winds.

The ThothX Tower would get around this by feature of its partly inflated design, with each section of the tower using pneumatically pressurized cells jam-packed with air or some other Gas. This could deliver a lightweight, maneuverable form, with the complete structure stabilized by gyroscopes and active control equipment, ensuring that the tower rests in a straight, perpendicular position as much as possible.

Caroline Roberts, Thoth president and CEO, said “Landing on a barge at sea level is a great demonstration, but landing at 12 miles [19.3 km] above sea level will make space flight more like taking a passenger jet,”

In addition to providing an higher launch area and landing stand for space exploration, the space tower’s creators say the structure could be used for any number of pursuits, comprising wind-energy production, communications, and even tourism.

As encouraging as the space elevator appears, Thoth Technology hasn’t yet confirmed any solid plans to really build this thing – and it’s likely there’d be noteworthy directing hurdles to overcome if that’s the company’s plan. We’ll be observing.

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