PEMBROKE, ONTARIO, CANADA — A Canadian space company wants to build a space elevator that reaches 20 kilometers high.
The company is called Thoth and the concept is called the Thoth X tower. The idea is to build a tower with reinforced inflatable sections. The middle is hollow. An elevator car would encircle the tower until it reaches the top.
Thoth estimates the tower would cost $5 billion to construct. As a demonstration project, it would build a precursor tower measuring 1.5 kilometers tall.
One feature of the project is the wind farm about three quarters of the way up. The 50 turbines could produce 1 gigawatt of continuous energy. That’s enough to power about 700,000 homes.
The main purpose of the tower is to provide a take-off and landing platform for spacecraft. If your aircraft takes off at a 20 kilometer altitude, you can get to space in a single stage without the need for additional fuel stages.
Thoth estimates this would save 30% on energy costs.
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I like how they show ordinary commercial jets taking off the top, which most likely couldn't run at that altitude.
You could *probably* do it, but why? The obvious advantage is to skip the dense lower atmosphere, but you'd probably be better off with space plane. You'd still have to accelerate to orbital velocity, and unlike with a spaceplane, which might be a quarter of the way to orbital speed by 20km, you'd have to start basically from zero.
Besides, given that the project is so expensive and technically complex to begin with, you could build any number of other options instead - a launch loop or proper ribbon space elevator, for instance.
Addendum: You'd have advantages compared to an SSTO spaceplane since you'd no longer need both low altitude and vacuum engines (whether that vehicle has dual engine types or hybrids), especially if you wanted high delta-V beyond LEO - and, of course, wouldn't need to spend fuel fighting the intense air resistance of the lower atmosphere. However, this could be replicated simply by launching the rocket from a large LTA airship. While this would technically make it a two-stage craft, the first airship stage is reusable and so cheap (requiring only the fuel required to run its ballast pumps, which could reasonably be solar/wind powered) that it doesn't matter.
As is the technical difficulties in creating such a system already outweigh the benefits - this might change with the desire for routine rocket launches at a low cost, putting the system into an even more complicated tower arrangement instead of the nice portable airship seems unintuitive.
it won't work building a tower 20k in the air will not stand straight
its too heavy and it will bent *EVEN* if they attach holding guards
(or whatever you guys call em) it is too long it will bent in half
nothing is gonna be able to hold it straight nothing has such durability to hold such a giant structure (well except hulk maybe or super man)
but none the less its a bad idea plus add the weight on the top of the tower where the air crafts are gonna land and let's add wind to the list of problems
if there is a very strong wind it will be a problem for the tower
or earth quakes or even worst
a fucking hurricane
now I don't know if hurricanes go to Canada
but if yes well you know what will happen next.
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