LiftPort, a company pioneering a new way for humanity to enter space (via space elevator) may be on the verge of a breakthrough within the carbon nanotube department.
(LiftPort Newsletter) As we've said before, we're on the brink of breakthrough. Our nanotube furnace, the only one of it's kind, is still being worked on by one of our research partners. It has, however, produced nanotubes, and we're very excited.
Carbon nanotubes are perhaps the most vital element in constructing a space elevator, something many critics have countered to be impossible. Thus far, the longest carbon nanotube ever produced has been four centimeters, which is a far cry away from the 100,000 km needed for the space elevator to be realized.
Michael Laine from LiftPort has often proposed that carbon nanotube threads could be meshed together to form this ribbon (much like rope is is made up of many fibers). This would probably be a more realistic way of producing the lengthly ribbon (if not cheaper) and this may be the "breakthrough" that LiftPort is talking about.
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