Lunar Space Elevator - Jacobs Ladder

R. Qedar, N. Grinfeld, G. Bezrodny, O. Reuven, A. Tatievsky
Dr. Alexander Kogan
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Our mission was to design a space elevator, including all of its subsystembs:

  1. The cable itself – materials, deployment and wave propagation analysis.
  2. Cable car riding on the cable – design and analysis.
  3. A return vehicle released from the cable – design and analysis.

All of these subsystems were combined into an idea we called Jacob’s Ladder in order to provide a cheaper alternative to the currently used rocket-based ways of transportation between the Earth and the Moon, thus allowing the importantion of large amounts of He3 that can be used as a good source of energy to the planet.

Main Parameters of the Design:

Elevator: mass 1.5 ton total, 4×4 bicycle type wheel system, 4 electric motors, momentum wheels and damping system for attitude control, 100 sq.m. solar panels.

Return Vehicle: mass 1ton, payload 0.1ton – in 10 high pressure tanks, ballistic return to Earth.

Tether: length 325,000 km, mass 245 ton, end mass 16 ton, material M5 fiber.

Elevator Ride On The Tether: ~200hrs @ cruising velocity of 700 m/sec.

Tether Placement: by mothership asymptotic trajectory to L1, cable deployment to Moon’s surface and anchoring the cable.

Conclusions:

1)  Automatic transportation of payload between Earth and Moon using solar energy is possible

2)  Space elevator idea feasible on the Moon’s surface nowadays, using current technology

3)  At expected rate of 5 ton payload per year, payoff for 15B$ construction and deployment cost, in 5 years.


Lunar Space Elevator – Jacob’s Ladder

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