Wednesday, December 20, 2006

LockHeed Martin Building A Space Elevator? Authentic NASA Toys and Replicas
(Hat Tip: Robot Guy and Space Elevator Reference)

With LockHeed Martin drafting plans to construct its own space elevator, it looks like LiftPort may have some serious competition on its hands.

(Google Patents) A Space Elevator for transporting a payload from one point to another in outer space, includes a first structure, located at a first relatively fixed, non-zero orbital distance from the surface of the earth, for receiving payloads, a second structure, located at a second relatively fixed orbital distance from the surface of the earth, for receiving payloads, where the second distance is greater than the first distance, a third structure located near the center of gravity of the combined apparatus providing a platform for storing and/or processing payloads, and a payload transporting apparatus disposed between and interconnecting the first and third and second and third structural means.

Although this differs from LiftPort's version of a space elevator, (which should probably be called a Sky Hook) LockHeed's version would preserve the current rocket industry in its current status.

LiftPort's version, although probably not in the best short term interests of any rocket company, would enable larger cargo to be hauled into space, not to mention giving most countries access to the final frontier.

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1 comment:

  1. I disagree that Liftport's SE would be detrimental to the short-term interests of any rocket company.

    Okay yes, if we succeed a great deal of their market is (probably) gone.

    But ...

    * There will always be a need for short-notice launch to LEO. Some loads just can't wait for the seven day trip to orbit via SE.

    * The SE can only get a load to orbit - it can't do anything with it once it gets there. There is likely a far bigger market for rockets in orbit that will be opened up by an SE.

    This is of course going to be disruptive and some companies won't make the transition. This happens; time for the managers and C-level leaders to game how they'll transition away from a few flights to orbit to hundreds in orbit.


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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