Japan’s Space Elevator Expected to Be Built By 2050

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In 1979, famed science fiction author, Arthur C. Clarke, wrote a book titled The Fountains of Paradise, in which a future society builds an elevator to space from a tiny island on the equator. Now, Clarke’s vision may soon come to fruition when a Japanese company begins work on its own space elevator.

What is a Space Elevator?

A space elevator is hypothetical for now, but Japanese construction giant, Obayashi Corporation, believes the necessary technology to build one could be ready in the next 10 to 12 years. The biggest hurdle at this point is developing a material strong enough to build cables 60,000 miles long and capable of transporting 100-ton cargo.

The elevator would essentially consist of a space station tethered between an anchor and a counterweight in Earth’s orbit. Dangling down from the station would be a series of cables made of carbon nanotubes – a real material developed 20 years ago that is stronger than steel by a factor of nearly 10. The only problem is that we haven’t quite figured out how to scale the technology. At the moment, we’ve only been able to create a few-centimeter-long stretch of them.

Once those tubes are scaled, which Obayashi believes will happen by 2030, an anchor would be built on Earth somewhere along the equator that would attach to the space station and a counterweight further up. The station would reside in what’s called Clarke orbit, or geostationary orbit, named after the sci-fi author himself. In this scenario, an object remains in orbit over a single point on the equator, an obvious necessity for a space elevator to be feasible.

 

elevator to space

Obayashi’s concept

 

The elevator cabin itself would ascend at about 120 miles per hour and carry a maximum capacity of about 30 people. For propulsion, it might be powered by a laser shot up from Earth that would supply it with the energy needed to climb the cables.

The trip would take about a week and function as a platform for scientific research, a launch point for space travel, and a mode of space tourism. The elevator could cut the cost of transporting materials into orbit by a factor of 100, which could propel space programs and colonization efforts at an astounding rate.

One man who has devoted his life to studying the viability of space elevators is Michael Lane, and he’s raised over $100,000 on Kickstarter to work on models and prototypes. Laine wants to first build a space elevator on the moon, because a weaker material could be used for the cables, like Kevlar.

On the moon there’s little gravity and no ice or wind, presenting ideal conditions for an elevator. Also the setup would only require roughly the strength of a strong man to hold the system in place. Laine’s idea proposes that rare earth elements could be harvested and brought back to earth, creating a booming space mining operation.

 

Is the Space Elevator Possible?

The Obayashi Corporation believes it can have the space elevator functioning by 2050 if carbon nanotubes become scalable by 2030. The company says that it holds competitions among university students to encourage them to study and advance the technology. Although over the past several years, advancements in AI like ARES (Autonomous Research System), allow scientists to let robots conduct, analyze and test hundreds of experiments autonomously, adding to the chance that nanotubes will be scaled within Obayashi’s timeline.

Obayashi is a massive construction and development firm in Tokyo that is responsible for a number of large scale engineering feats across the world. One structure designed by the company, the TOKYO SKYTREE, is the largest free-standing tower in the world, at just over 2,000 feet.

 

obayashi space elevator

 

According to the company’s plan, there will be a series of anchors to counterbalance the elevator. The space station that would serve as the final destination would be situated at about 22,000 miles above Earth. Further out would be the anchor at an altitude of about 60,000 miles. Before the primary station there would be additional hubs at altitudes where one could experience the level of gravity on the moon and on Mars, which would be ideal for conducting experiments for future missions.

Not everyone believes that a space elevator will be built as easily as Obayashi does. Elon Musk has scoffed at the idea, saying that until someone builds a structure made of carbon nanotubes longer than a footbridge, he won’t consider the possibility of a space elevator. Musk also says he believes that until we have a carbon nanotube trans-oceanic bridge, say between LA and Tokyo, we shouldn’t be talking about building space elevators.

A trans-oceanic bridge seems rather silly though, considering we have the ability to fly across oceans in a much more efficient manner. Why would anyone want to spend days driving from LA to Tokyo when they could fly? Even bullet trains aren’t fast enough for a transoceanic bridge to be meaningful.

But no major technological feat has ever occurred without its detractors and naysayers who claim these visions to be impossible or impractical. Maybe Musk is right and rockets or alternative jet propulsion will reign supreme over space elevators, but Obayashi plans on continuing its lofty aspiration, with others following suit. Will Arthur C. Clarke’s vision one day come to be realized?



Secret Space Programs and Breakaway Civilizations

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In July 2014, on the 45th anniversary of Apollo 11’s moon landing, the government declassified information about a secret space program from the 1950s called Project Horizon. The plan outlined the building of a permanent military base on the moon. Ten to twenty men would be sent with all their supplies and nuclear weapons. The secret moon base would be used for surveillance against and protection from the Soviet Union, and the men would have constant communication with the Earth.

The released documents show that the scientists knew it wasn’t possible to implement the plan, but it was expected to be put in place as technology advanced. Project Horizon never got off the ground. But, that isn’t the end nor the beginning of the story about secret space programs from the past, present and the future.

Secret Space Programs and FDR

In the 1940s, according to recently released documents, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt commissioned a secret space program. He was concerned about how to move large numbers of people in case of nuclear war to avoid massive radiation damage. He thought there might also be a need to escape the ravages of some other global cataclysmic event. Since there was no place on Earth to which large masses of people could be moved, he considered the possibility of moving to locations in space.

At first, moving to the nearest star, Alpha Centauri, seemed like an option. However, the distance made such a plan impossible. As a next step, FDR focused on the moon, Mars or Venus as alternatives to Earth.

Beginning in 1945 at the conclusion of WWII, after President Truman took over, he brought 1,500 German scientists and engineers to the U.S. The scientists, under Hitler’s leadership in Nazi Germany, made advancements in the development of flying saucers, like the Nazi Bell, before and during the war. The German scientists worked at Fort Bliss, near El Paso, Texas, and were assigned the task of developing secret space programs under the project name of Operation Paperclip.

Truman believed the Germans had knowledge of anti-gravity propulsion engines and other spacecraft flight technology. Werner von Braun was the most well-known member of this group, who eventually became the designer of the Saturn V launch vehicle, which was used to propel American astronauts to the moon. He eventually became the director of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center and spoke out frequently about the need for space exploration.

Secret space programs are believed to be financed by secret “Black Budget” programs with contributions made by people with great wealth, private contractors and some government agencies. This secret funding keeps the programs from being subject to congressional oversight. Since the early 1960s, the programs have been kept secret even from the president: A memo was found in the newly released documents that said to keep “Lancer,” President Kennedy’s secret service nickname, out of the loop.

Secret Space Programs and Breakaway Civilizations

Secret space programs may have developed Breakaway Civilizations in outer space. Well-respected UFO and space researcher Richard Dolan, defines a Breakaway Civilization as a secret group of technologically advanced people who don’t share their knowledge with the rest of the world. These are essentially the Earth’s elite who have knowledge far above the rest of the world.

These elite may know of an upcoming imminent global geological cataclysm event and are building space bases as shelters for themselves. For example, they could be planning their escape from Nibiru Planet X, which “triggers comet showers” every 27 million years. One of those comets is expected to crash into the Earth and totally destroy it sometime in the not too distant future.

Scotland native, Gary McKinnon, hacked into thousands of government secret files. He found evidence of an anti-gravity propulsion system that traveled at incredible speeds. Also, he found evidence of portal technology that, when coupled with anti-gravity propulsion, would allow space travel to other stars and planets to be accomplished in a short amount of time.

It appears that Einstein’s theory that nothing can travel faster than the speed of light has been debunked. It also appears the Black Budget keeps these secrets even from NASA, since NASA apparently does not have access to anti-gravity technology. It still propels its rockets with fossil fuel.

McKinnon claims he saw nearly 300 photos of structures and civilizations existing on the back side of the moon. He says these structures (alien bases on the moon) are erased out of any photos when they are released to the public. Unfortunately, when he hacked into the computers, he was using a dial-up connection so he couldn’t download the photos. He says he took a screenshot of one that was saved on his computer, but his computer was seized when he was arrested. When his computer was subsequently returned to him, the photo was gone.

McKinnon also reported viewing a file that included names of “non-terrestrial officers” who he says were assigned to ships that weren’t U.S. Navy ships. He concluded these were the officers assigned to space ships, not navy ships, indicating that Breakaway Civilizations already exist.

There are many outstanding questions about secret space programs. Why do these programs remain secret? Will there be an opportunity for non-elite citizens to be part of a Breakaway Civilization? A poll taken in 2015 shows that 54 percent of Americans believe extraterrestrial intelligence exists. With such a large number of people supporting alien existence, why is there still a need to maintain secrecy?

Want more like this article?
Don’t miss Deep Space on Gaia for more on the long and hidden history of Earth’s secret space program.

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