Japanese media said that researchers such as Shizuoka University in Japan will conduct the world's first space operation test in September to realize the "space elevator" concept of connecting ground and space stations with cables. To realize the concept, there are still many issues such as the development of special cables, but it will be a concern as a dream elevator that can contribute to space travel and material transportation.
According to the Japanese "Daily News" reported on August 23, the test will use two ultra-small satellites developed by the Department of Engineering, Shizuoka University. The shape of the satellite is a cube with a side length of 10 cm. The two satellites are connected by a steel cable about 10 meters long. The two satellites will be released from the International Space Station. According to the plan, on the cable between the two satellites, the researchers will try to use the motor to move the box shaped like an elevator lift, and then confirm the actual operation through the camera mounted on the satellite. Move in space.
According to the report, the ultra-small satellite plans to take the H2B rocket No. 7 from the Kagoshima County Seed Island Universe Center to the International Space Station along with other small satellites on September 11.
The report also said that the researchers had previously conducted tests to extend the cable in space, but moving the box was the first time. Although this is a mini type, if you can confirm the operation in a space different from the ground conditions, it will be the first step to realize the concept.
The report pointed out that if the space elevator dreams come true, humans can travel to the space station without using a rocket, and can also transport materials at a lower cost. It is also conceivable to transport the solar panels for space solar power that are still in the concept stage. And materials for research and development.
The report also pointed out that the large-scale construction company Dalin Group, which participated in the experiment of Shizuoka University in the way of providing technical advice, also promoted space elevator research separately. According to the company's vision, the lift will be built in the shape of an egg 18 meters long and 7.2 meters in diameter, which can carry about 30 people and run in groups of six. The platform installed at sea is connected to the space station by a cable, and the elevator moves along the cable through a pulley with an electric motor.
The lift has a top speed of 200 km/h and can reach the space station on the 8th day from the ground. The total length of the cable is 96,000 kilometers, and the total cost is about 10 trillion yen (about 620.4 billion yuan). The average shipping cost per kilogram is about tens of thousands of yen, which is equivalent to about one percent of the space shuttle. Development team convener Ishikawa Yoji said confidently: "There is a high probability in theory. In the future, space travel may prosper."
However, there are many issues facing it. The most critical is the development of high-strength cables. It needs to withstand the high-energy "cosmic rays" of shuttle space, and the material is most likely to use carbon nanotubes that aggregate carbon atoms into a cylinder. Its density is only about half of that of aluminum, but its hardness is more than 20 times that of steel. However, according to the prior art, manufacturing a few centimeters is already the limit. In addition, technologies that transmit electricity from the ground to space, technologies that evade space debris and meteorite attacks are also issues.
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