Monday, November 20, 2006

Ten Reasons For Not Building A Space Elevator Authentic NASA Toys and Replicas
Throughout our history, humanity has built technology to enable faster, cheaper or larger transportation from one point to another. Although many of these feats faced great difficulties from the drawing board to the final product, our world has been blessed by these inventors efforts decades later as the airplane, train and automobile can testify.

But before any of these inventions were fully developed, skeptics and doubters have mocked either the possibility of an invention or the need for one. Since the Space Elevator definately falls into this category, here are ten reasons why a space elevator should not be built to benefit humanity.


10) Too complex to succeed: The technology behind a space elevator has too many moving parts. It lacks the simplicity of a rocket engine.

9) It's too expensive: It would be better to spend $10 billion on developing new ways to kill each other on dozens of projects than to pool our money into this single one.

8) It's a dumb idea: The space elevator has only existed in science fiction novels. Since when has anything from a science fiction novel become reality?

7) It will take too long: If such a feat can not be built in my generation, why should the next one have the honor to benefit from it?

6) It's too hard: We should focus on solving easier topics such as ending war and global poverty.

5) It would ruin Star Trek: The writers never envisioned a space elevator in their television series. Building one would ruin the story line, enraging fans across the scifi community.

4) We need Space Powers: If too many nations have access to space, people might get the notion that we are all created equal, leading to chaos.

3) Rockets are doing a fine job: Despite 95% of their weight being fuel, rockets are doing a great job hauling up cargo and people. Who needs change?

2) Space is for the elite: Only the healthy and wealthy deserve to visit the stars. The poor and unhealthy deserve their lot on Earth.

1) The English language has too many words: We have too many "ports" on planet earth already, such as seaport, airport, carport, etc. Adding LiftPort to the dictionary would only increase the cost of dictionaries worldwide.


Note: These are the best reasons I could come up with. Does anyone else have a better excuse?

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  1. * We have enough problems on earth, the money would be better spent on X.

  2. Space Elevator occupants run the risk of claustrophobia. Should the elevator be constructed in international waters, victims of a claustrophobic attack might be confused about whom to sue in the event of such an episode. Better not to risk the legal confusion.

  3. We'd lose the Space Elevator Games. Where else can I be a live-blogger?

  4. God most certainly has a plan for humanity ON earth. A space elevator sounds like people wanting to move offplanet in droves; God doesnt want that; He wants us to stay around for judgement day. Most of His plagues foretold about the Reconing are rather irrelevant for O Neil habitats. Yes, O Neil has been sentenced to Hell for his righteous punishment.

  5. Hi, I maintain the Space Blogroll, a list of all the space-/astronomy-/rocketry-related blogs that I can find. I added your blog to the blogroll today (and found a few more blogs to add via your sidebar). If you would like to add the Space Blogroll to your sidebar, you can find the necessary code for that here. If you don't want to add the space blogroll, that's ok too, you're on the blogroll regardless.

  6. Personally, I'm not big on a 100G+ ballistic reentry if one of the elevator cars falls off.

    I think I'll take the Orion Shuttle instead, to hell with the expense.


  7. I think Brian's comment pretty much sums it up.

    To Kat: Heh, why didn't I think of that!

    To Ted: I would miss you to.

    To Dagon: Some of them affect the moon too. But could humanity survive without Earth?

    To Ed: I think I'll check it out. Thanks!

    To Adrasteia: Not if you use Ballutes!

  8. Too many people would injure themselves jumping up & down in it.

  9. You lot are so pathetic with your "reasons" and "justifications". There is one and only one reason why the Space Elevator should not be built... "BECAUSE!" :-)

  10. 1) So, like, would we all be cooped up like in a regular elevator with squishy elevator music and everybody not looking at anyone else or just looking up at the floor numbers?

    2) And how many floors would there be? 117,000?

    3) Would there be an elevator operator with a weak sense of humor announcing: "4156th floor: lady's lingerie, foundation garments, and bustiers ... 4157th floor: incontinence products, colostomy and enema bags ... 4158th floor: ...

    4) Would he say, "Watch that first step, it's a doozy!"

    5) I understand that low gravity plays havoc with the digestive system. What if somebody breaks wind in this elevator? Might there need to be some industrial-grade ventilators?

    6) Would you need seat belts in this elevator. I mean as your weight decreases and you float up off the know, air sickness bags and such...

    7) So is this the kind of elevator where an old lady in a wheelchair gets on, the door closes, and when the door opens again there's a blonde bombshell?

    8) If you press the button for the 117,000th floor and the 'Door Close' button at the same time, will you get there faster?

    9) Would some knob get on the elevator and say, "We've got to stop meeting like this?"

    10) Wouldn't you have to go through about 40 packs of chewing gum per trip to keep your ears from popping?

    Steve Erbach
    Neenah, WI

  11. Where will people go to the bathroom and what will happen with the "in-lift" produced ballast? I would not want to be working on the anchor ship below...

  12. It would suck away funding from our perpetual space shuttle program. Low space orbit is our destiny as a species. Besides, that 1970's technology (mostly) works, so don't mess with it.

    It would poke a hole in the ozone layer.

    It would enrage animal activists because:

    If it happened to be directly in the path of migrating birds, it would halt their migration causing the extinction of an entire species. Or, it would put a Darwinian pressure on birds to become more flexible with their migration routes. This would produce a species of super smart birds that would exterminate all of the dumber birds. Humans would be enslaved when these birds become the next dominant species on this planet...

    Monkeys and squirrels would die from asphyxiation as they attempt to climb the cable to its top.


You can either visit the stars or watch them from afar.

But if you choose the former, you'll definitely get a better view.

~Darnell Clayton, 2007

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