As seen on http://youtube.com/ElevatorToSpace with over 300,000 views and ~50,000 views on kickstarter. Designed by Eric Pratt, VirtualSets.net with new version coming from Rene Falk Thomasius, Safari FX. Full text at http://liftport.com/topic/1070-video-commentary-lunar-space-elevator-initiative-lsei/
This is a proposed Lunar Space Elevator construction. The value of a Lunar elevator is for a soft landing on the Moon. A rocket is launched from the Earth to the Lagrange Point PicoGravity Lab where cargo is transferred to the robotic Lifter and gently delivered to the Lunar surface. It fulfills the need of a Saturn class rocket (that no one has.)
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This starts with the rocket being launched. It can an be any of many standard rockets. (Atlas, Delta, Dragon, Liberty, etc.)
It is equipped with solar panels that unfold from behind. (There is little pressure on them, so they can be relatively weak with cross bracing for stabilization. It would have a center beam in the back that unfolds the whole thing so that it's equally balanced so it fits inside rocket faring. The boom that extends the engine has to be far enough away so that it doesn't damage the solar panels. The boom needs to go straight back.)
:20 Not shown: The panels are left in space and then added to the Pico Gravity Lab space station later. The pod is a fuel depot and can be refilled to fuel other space craft.
The Solar Electric Propulsion Engine (SEP) pushes everything to the Lagrange point. The SEP has low thrust, but high longevity and are slow but efficient.
Not shown: We need to mechanically capture the cap (asset for the counterweight and shouldn't be discarded as video suggests) It will unhook from bottom and swing it out. We keep the cap or the engine as components as dead mass for the counterweight.
When it gets to the Lagrange point, it opens to release the Landing Station ('Spike') connected with the Ribbon ls into the Lunar regolith (surface) to attach. (The Ribbon should be about 3 mm across, the artist showed it bigger than it actually is.) The spool of thread comes out, and tilted 90 degrees so that the thread will not tangle. It is a very thin and fragile thread instead of the cable shown in the video.
It will drop from ~10-25 km above the Moon onto the surface. The Lunar gravity is 1/6th of the Earth's. It will punch through rocks and dust, etc. It will be like the impact of a semi truck hitting a wall. There's a lot of kinetic energy but it's controllable based on a number of factors. We will be able to identify a good landing zone and rate of descent, by controlling the Ribbon from the Lagrange Point.
If we park at 11 km or 3 km, we will know the amount of the energy it will take. We will know the energy required so that it will land hard, but not break the system.
The 'energy of the pendulum – effect of the Spike paused over the Lunar surface' and other calculations pick the location. This will work with high def cameras observations. There are no rocket engines needed. It's all the impact of gravity to do the job of sinking into the Lunar Regolith.
1:15 The solar panels are on the bottom of the Anchor Station (shown in blue with red outline). Not shown: There will be a large Spike in the middle about 3-4 meters. The side spikes tilt in at a 45 degree angle and are 2-3 meters. The total base station (2 triangles) are ~ 3 meters across. The center spike slams in and the side spikes drill in. The drill should go clockwise. Not shown: An independent Bulldozer Robot would come and add more regolith ('Moon rocks/ dirt') to center patch to hold it down. The bulldozer would use the solar panel to charge. Eventually more dirt would be put over the whole panel system until it runs out of power.
2:05 The Robot Lifter should be longer and taller, with viewports. ~3 people would be in there. (longer term goal) The journey would take about 7 days from the Lagrange Point Station to the Lunar surface by Lifter. Like a motorhome, it would have beds, bathrooms, and food. Spacesuits would not required inside the Lifter.
The Lifter arrives at the surface to transport cargo onto and off the moon.
The Lifter would pass through the PicoGravity Lab with Bigelow system style habitation pods. (There can be 4 or more as an expandable system). Not shown: Fuel pod and solar panel wings from the Solar Electric Propulsion Engine.
Artist's rendition of balloons and sensors from Rene Falk Thomasius, Vienna, http://Safari-FX.de
Release of new Lunar Space Elevator Animations shortly.
LIVE DEMOS: http://www.youtube.com/elevatortospace for footage from our 15 FAA/ Navy/ Air Force certified Flight tests.
PRESENTATION: http://bit.ly/TetheredTowersPresentation (draft for developing a website and being updated this week.)
EDUCATION KITS: Kits for schools. (see kickstarter)
SKYDIVING: Go Felix! We have an option to skydive from the platform. (see kickstarter)
Contact us TetheredTowers @ LiftPort.com, http://twitter.com/TetheredTowers
We use a cluster of 3 balloons tethered to a platform with sensors, communications and observations technologies. It has uses for Disaster Response and Emergencies, Farmers using Precision Agriculture and delivering information/ Education to remote/ rural/ developing world areas.
MARCH 2013 Kickstarter Balloon, Sensors, Robotic Experiment Play by Play and more on getting involved:
Artist's Statement: The Balloons stand for all the many Supporters of LiftPort. It's a part of the Image Campaign for LiftPort. Any Balloon can be different sizes and that means all the different sized Balloon stand for how much support that the community gives to LiftPort, but are all a part of this. All the members are balloons... and a balloon can lift up something...Many balloons can lift up more things..It's a picture to show how the community connects... :) I am one of the Balloons you know ;)...It's strategic thinking...and in the end LiftPort has a new lunar elevator animation to show the plan/dream...and a image campaign with a clear nice message.
MIT aeronautics professor and engineer Dava Newman had a dream: that of a slimmed down astronaut. See the streamlined, mobility-enhancing "Bio-Suit" she created for protecting astronauts from atmospheres and healthcare workers from germs.