anchored tether space elevator

An anchored tether space elevator is one of the options for efficient transportation between the ground and GEO and beyond.The structure's weight is supported by the rotation of the planetary body to which it is anchored, which uses a counterweight at its far end which centrifugal force supplies much of the counterbalance upward force to offset the downward force of gravitation attraction to the planet or moon to which it is anchored.

Although its inherent characteristics do not have the massive highly efficient payload throughput at KESTS would have, it is still a potential alternative for less stringent scenarios. 

Anchored tether space elevators have been often "re-invented" unknowingly by people, including the famous Arthur C. Clark, as mentioned in the back of his sci fi novel "Fountains of Paradise." It is considered to have been first proposed by a Russian named Artsutinov; it was later described by J.D. Issacs et al in 1966; and this author did not "re-invent" the concept until 1969. All eventually realized that the weight of the tether itself would put a huge load on the tether, reaching a maximum as it passed through GEO and on out to the counterweight mass beyond GEO, no known material was even remotely adequate to the task. Materials with the adequate tensile strength to mass ration did not appear until the carbon nanotube composites were reaching development around 2002.

An anchored tether space elevator is also possible, anchored to the surface of our Moon, and passing through the balance point L-1 toward the earth, dangling, supported by the gravitational pull of the Earth pulling away from the Moon, on the part of the tether that is below L-1, the balance point between the Moon and the Earth. Such a structure was proposed by this author to NASA in 1972, called a "Mooncable" or a "Gravitational Electric Siphon in Space."

An anchored tether could also be located on the far side of the Moon, supported by the rotation of the Moon as it rotates around the Earth, a counterweight mass out beyond L-2 of the earth-moon system.

All these forms of transportation structures are involved in this saga of stories in various places.

For a PowerPoint presentation slide movie on such a concept, see 



Copyright © 2008 James E. D. Cline. Permission granted to reproduce providing inclusion of acknowledgment of the author and concept designer James E. D. Cline.