Only a few heavy traffic destinations like Mars will have direct ribbon to ribbon transfers.
Huh? Don't worry, all (and I mean all) is made clear in this amazing book. This 2003 book is the end product of a detailed study on the development of a space elevator, which is really more of a very strong ribbon of carbon nanotubes with "climbers" that pull themselves into space, powered by infrared light beams from high-power lasers. While this is a technical book with a lot of details, the writing is remarkably clear and friendly. Highly recommended! I thought it was only available at Amazon, but I recently saw a copy in a Barnes & Noble. You can also find free on-line information on the space elevator (including Edwards' Phase II report) at liftport.com. The earlier phase 1 report (15 MB PDF) is available at SpaceNow.ca.