Japanese 2050 Space Elevator project (Obayashi Corporation)

Grey Havoc

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One of the first news stories on it from February 2012:

Construction firm aims at space elevator in 2050
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The Yomiuri Shimbun

It may be possible to travel to space in an elevator as early as 2050, a major construction company has announced.

Obayashi Corp., headquartered in Tokyo, on Monday unveiled a project to build a gigantic elevator that would transport passengers to a station 36,000 kilometers above the Earth.

For the envisaged project, the company would utilize carbon nanotubes, which are 20 times stronger than steel, to produce cables for the space elevator.

The idea of space elevators has been described in several science-fiction novels. Obayashi, however, believes it is possible to construct one in the real world thanks to carbon nanotubes, which were invented in the 1990s, the company said.

Some other organizations have also been studying the development of space elevators, such as the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

In Obayashi's project, a cable would be stretched up to 96,000 kilometers, or about one-fourth of the distance between the Earth and the moon. One end of the cable would be anchored at a spaceport on the ground, while the other would be fitted with a counterweight.

The terminal station would house laboratories and living space. The car could carry up to 30 people to the station at 200 kilometers per hour, which would mean a 7-1/2 day trip to reach the station. Magnetic linear motors are one possible means of propulsion for the car, according to Obayashi.

Solar power generation facilities would also be set up around the terminal station to transmit power to the ground, the company added.

Whether carbon nanotubes can be mass-produced economically enough and whether various organizations from around the world can work together are two key issues facing the development of the space elevator, according to the company.

"At this moment, we cannot estimate the cost for the project," an Obayashi official said. "However, we'll try to make steady progress so that it won't end just up as simply a dream."

(Feb. 22, 2012)


I should note that Obayashi Corporation was the primary contractor on the Tokyo Skytree, among other things.

[IMAGE CREDITS: DAILY YOMIURI ONLINE, DVICE], and Obayashi Corporation]
 

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PlanesPictures

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I'm not familiar with this project but there are there no noted problems. Due to different absolute speed on Earth surface and in height 36000 km you will need to have next source of energy to fix this problem. Do you know more about it?
 

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Bill Walker

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You need to include the force on the counter weight, above the space station. Google Space Elevator and read all about it.
 

PlanesPictures

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Yes, it is noted there Coriolis power. But on start you will need to force counterweight to speed three times bigger as speed of terminal station and I think due to this Coriolis power counterweight will lost its speed and you will need still to force it with some rocket engine what is not calculated. But maybe yes. It is 40 years as I studied physic of plasma and probably I'm wrong
 

Bill Walker

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Google shows this site,and many others with all the equations.

Another source suggests construction should start from geosync orbit, with one cable being lowered and one extended, at the same rates and mass distributions.
 

ouroboros

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Big japanese construction conglomerates/general contractors like to periodically issue press releases with sweeping strategic visions of major infrastructure projects, largely because they are addicted to government infrastructure contracts like crack addicts and don't stand well on their own. So, in order to justify their continued existence, their comprehensive planning departments like to do extended thought exercises and throw it as easy PR fodder to maintain a claim of technical competence. If there was real movement, there would be declarations of a development office being set up, real money figures being spent on research, or announcements of recruiting older university professors to add legitimacy. That's not to say that it is a totally empty promise, as sometimes some necessary basic research gets some support funds. But there is less blue sky corporate sponsored research in japan now, though arguably more than many countries. Unfortunately, that is a byproduct of the short term capitalist thinking of US MBA's filtering back to japanese managers.



I would be more interested in the smallsat/nanosat/cubesat market developing in japan right now. There seems to be a potential fight for slots on the 2014/2015 Dnepr launch amongst japanese research groups as well as civilian companies, though usually only single satellites, no clusters at present such as Skybox's announced remote sensing cluster, but at least one for-profit weather forecasting service (weathernews) will be launching an arctic weather watcher (WNISAT-1) for selling arctic circle/northwest passage navigation information to shipping companies, which intends to be on the Dnepr launch.
 

OM

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...Carbon Nanotubes are to Space Elevator enthusiasts what Gamma Interferon was supposed to be to Cancer Research: Unobtanium obtained.
 

Grey Havoc

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http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-09-21/japanese-construction-giants-promise-space-elevator-by-2050/5756206

http://asia.nikkei.com/Tech-Science/Tech/Shizuoka-University-s-space-elevator-test-concept-gets-go-ahead

http://the-japan-news.com/news/article/0001568374


Can we please move this topic back to space projects?
 

blackkite

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Hi!
http://www.obayashi.co.jp/news/news_20130730_1

Can we discharge liquid CO2 (generated from fossile fuel power station) and high-level radioactive wastes effectively to the space by this machine?
The price of the construction cost of this elevator is 2 trillion yen per set.
Perhaps it is necessary to make a lot.
We can apply Solar power and Kinetic Energy-Recovery System to this machine.
 

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Grey Havoc

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https://phys.org/news/2018-09-japan-mini-space-elevator.html

https://gizmodo.com/japan-testing-miniature-space-elevator-near-the-interna-1828800558
 

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