Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Cool Book: The Space Elevator

Here's a parenthetical quote from page 175 of The Space Elevator by Bradley Edwards and Eric A. Westling:
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 The earlier phase 1 report (15 MB PDF) is available at

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