[FPSPACE] Inflatable tower may offer easier access to space
ljk4 at msn.com
Fri Jul 10 19:20:10 EDT 2009
Inflatable tower may offer easier access to space
At 9-miles tall, it could also enable creation of new wireless data network
By Eric Bland
updated 2:03 p.m. ET, Thurs., July 2, 2009
An inflatable tower nine miles tall and tethered to a mountain top could cut the cost to launch spacecraft, reduce the need for geostationary communications satellites and improve cell phone signals.
“This structure could be made of commercially available materials,” said Brendan Quine, who, along with Raj Seth and George Zhu at York University in Toronto wrote an article detailing their tower in the journal Acta Astronautica.
The tower itself would be 15 kilometers (9.3 miles) tall, 230 meters (754 feet) across, and weigh approximately 800,000 tons, or about twice the weight of the world’s largest supertanker when fully inflated with a variety of gases, including helium.
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