Dirigible Space Elevator

Votes: 4
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A Dirigible Space Elevator, a unique combination of aerospace design and geodesic geometry, has many monetary, efficiency and energy saving uses. The geodesic exo-structure allows any airship the ability to fly upwards at speeds exceeding 150 mph. The reduced costs to get to space will improve everything with respect to technological R & D associated with space.

The space elevator works by using dirigible technology that drastically cuts costs of sending a rocket into space. By filling 12 donut shaped balloons with hot air, spaced 5,000 ft apart each, and wrapping them around an elevator that reaches to a height of 60,000 ft, a rocket can easily be transported to the top derigible. A geodesic structure being strongest design and weighing the least conquers the challenge of using hot gas for lift in an airship due to pressure, etc. Additionally, an airplane in flight being a group of tensions and strains traveling through the air, the structure of the plane needs to deal with these forces all the time or the plane will eventually break up. Geodesic structures create offsetting forces with the minimum amount of material, thus, having less weight. The diameter of the open space (donuthole) of each dirigible is at least 100 feet across increasing incrementally providing ample room for rockets including a minimal buffer distance for exothermic thrust without damage. Each dirigible would be tied to the one above and below it with three ropes. Taking off from this height drastically reduces the amount of thrust and, by extension, fuel required for a rocket to leave the earth's atmosphere.

The elevator lifted inside the dirigibles, with stronger & extendable high strength carbon fiber cables, is able to extend much further per cable than steel, carrying the rockets to 60,000 feet, greatly reducing the cost of take off for space flights. The manufacture of airships occur in a large hanger, sections of the dirigible are hooked together, much like a large ship is constructed. Once the sections are assembled into a sphere that can be floated and assembled together into the airship. This idea would be applied for any remotely controlled airships, heaving lift cargo or passenger airships or rocket launches. The dirigibles could also be used to deliver goods and services to the northern latitudes where the roads are decaying rapidly due to the melting permafrost. Goods could be dropped into the ocean attached to pontoons and picked up by a local barge.

The turnaround time for space elevators is measured in hours not weeks. The cost for delivery to near space would decrease by approximately 90% as well as reducing consumption of natural resources. Eventually the Space Elevator could be attached to a tether already in space and eliminate the need for rockets entirely.

Space elevators are inherently safer than rockets. The cost and setup of a hot air dirigible space elevator is also much cheaper and quicker than the current technology. This design makes it possible today.



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  • Name:
    Matthew Lytle
  • Type of entry:
    Team members:
    Michael Weir
    Janine Smith
    Matthew Lytle
  • Profession:
  • Matthew's hobbies and activities:
    Meditation, reading, writing, traveling and laughing.
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