2012
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Tuesday, 14. November 2006

Space elevators: killer radiation!




Space elevators are touted as a novel and cheap way to get cargo, and possibly people, into space one day. So far, they have barely left the drawing board, but ultimately robots could climb a cable stretching 100,000 kilometres from Earth's surface into space.

But there is a hitch: humans might not survive thanks to the whopping dose of ionising radiation they would receive travelling through the core of the Van Allen radiation belts around Earth.

Solutions include moving the elevator away from the equator, which will only reduce the radiation slightly, and shielding, but "a shield would weigh down the whole apparatus, disrupting the natural motion of the cable."

Source: New Scientist


 
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