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Aug 19 2015

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I do not think those words mean what you think they mean

Wild Inflatable Space Elevator Idea Could Lift People 12 Miles Up. A Space Elevator is a platform past geostationary orbit that uses the spin of the earth to keep tension on the ribbon attached to the planet’s surface:

That’s not what Thoth Technology, Inc. proposes. What they’re calling a “space elevator” is a launch and landing platform 12 miles high. Though in Thoth’s own press release, they call it a “space tower”, which it definitely is. At 12 miles high, they figure to save 30% of the fuel to launch into orbit. Here’s the diagram from the patent page:

An interesting idea…though it’s hard for me to see it being built. Aside from the billions of dollars needed to build a space tower, plus the R&D in materials development and building techniques beforehand, how many launches would it take to pay for itself? Though on that front, Thoth says it could also be used for wind-energy generation, communications and tourism.

Still, congrats to Thoth on the patent and for thinking outside the box! And for giving me a the chance to reference The Princess Bride:

Permanent link to this article: http://www.newspaceraces.com/2015/08/19/i-do-not-think-those-words-mean-what-you-think-they-mean/

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