It is possible that a reader of this blog might not understand what my "KESTS to GEO" conceptual design is, someone who might actually desire to know. So here is another attempt to explain it briefly. I had written it recently to improve the initial part of my kestsgeo.com website, but found that something is blocking me from doing ftp to my website, so I cannot fix my website; I get a message that says my username is not allowed access. The ISP support does not answer my email about it. Probably what happens in a system where passwords and ID are sent unprotected; and the easy-money crowd decides to make a harvest.
So here goes: this is to suggest that there is "another" (that is, a non-tether space elevator) possible technique to support structures that reach from the ground all the way up to high orbital altitudes, enabling economical large scale space access; and thus enabling a huge expansion of civilization while also thereby restoring the Earth's fragile ecosystem. Come dream with me a moment; once you see it clearly, you will see it is obvious (and therefore is not "new & innovative" since everybody must have known it all the time.)
Basic principle of structural support: The outward centrifugal force on the mass of the armature of an electric motor that is in hoop-form encircling the planet, a force thus in opposition to the force of gravity at its location. The structural support means is similar to the principle that enables a satellite to be in an orbit, the outward centrifugal force component of circular motion on its moving mass, balances the inward force of gravity on its mass. Except, in the structural support application, the circulating mass is going very much faster than its orbital altitude would balance, its excess outward centrifugal force component being used to balance the weight of the planet-encircling structural mass within which it slides around at high velocity, which is the structure enabling economical large scale space access.
That is the basic mechanism of structural support being described here. There are many other mechanisms involved to implement such an energy-supported structure that reaches from the ground, such as from surface-connection at some place on the Equator, all the way up to orbital altitudes, including up to GEO. Such as mechanisms for maintaining a hard vacuum environment for the high velocity mass streams while they flow through the earth's atmosphere in the lower part of their loop. And mechanisms for very slippery sliding between the high velocity mass and the supported structure it pushes upward against, all around the loop.
Integrated mechanism: A fairly well integrated overall structural mechanism utilizing the basic structural support principle, coalesces into the form of a multiple armature synchronous electric motor, overall. The armatures are shoved along as they cruise past the ground terminal, inputting kinetic energy to the system. The armatures mass push outward, upward against the non-moving magnetic levitation track-ways in which they slide along under the supported structure loop. And the armatures inductively share some of their upward momentum with vehicles they pass by, lifting the vehicles up and down the structure between ground and space.
Major advantage: And that is the point of it all, that the payload carrying vehicles carry no fuel mass for the journey, which is the really big energy hog of conventional rocket transportation between ground and orbit. Rockets have to lift the immense mass of the fuel that will be used to get to orbit, and that is where most of the work is spent getting payload into orbit, in the lifting of the fuel and of the fuel tanks and engines needed to lift that huge mass off the ground. Consider what a light weight vehicle would be needed, if it did not have to also lift the fuel mass needed to make the journey. A vehicle that is also gently lowered back to the ground on return, its energy returned to the system instead of through re-entry heating.
Electrically powered space access: That the transportation structure system is entirely electrically powered, also implies some interesting potentials. The lack of atmospheric pollutants from the rocket propellants is an obvious one, that becomes more significant it the lift of a large amount of payload is being considered. Such as for building the long-envisioned Solar Power Satellites in GEO. Some of that beamed-down electrical energy could be used to power the transportation structure itself, thus a large scale space access transportation system becomes no burden to the planetary system thereafter.
Transportation energy cost: So what is the basic
energy cost to lift something from the ground and put it into GEO? Well, a bit of thought shows it has to be less than the energy needed to impart the "escape velocity" to that mass. That is to speed it up to 25,000 mph, which is 7.9 KWh of energy per pound of mass. That is 80 cents a pound if electrical energy costs 10 cents per KWh, or 8 cents per pound if energy costs 1 cent per KWh. Since GEO is significantly short of the infinite distance that "escape velocity" theorizes, only 7.15 KWh per pound to GEO, lifted from the equator, is the energy imparted to the mass as it is lifted up there and given orbital velocity at GEO altitude of 22,300 miles above the equator. That is 72 cents of electrical energy, if energy costs 10 cents per KWh, per pound delivered into GEO. However....
Relative efficiency: No transportation system is 100% efficient, and transportation process energy would be added to the overall energy consumption involved in the transportation system. Yet we are starting with a figure of 7.15 KWh, and even with a lot if added energy, it still is an insignificant amount of energy as compared to that used by the Space Shuttle, for example, or the launch vehicles now used to put communication satellites in GEO. A really tiny amount of energy.
Exploring what then would become possible: And that would make economical projects in GEO, that are now quite impossible due to the reaction engine launch vehicle transportation technique we are now limited to.
Such projects are interactive with the chosen transportation system. For example, by lifting the structural materials up to GEO with which to build plentiful Solar Power Satellites, which would power the transportation system itself, as well as providing abundant clean electrical energy for civilization around the world.
That itself would be justification for the transportation system's creation. But once in place, there are many other things that become possible too, that are otherwise not feasible. They include such things as high capacity materials processing in the zero-gee, hard vacuum, solar powered environment in GEO, with its potential for total recycling of industrial waste materials. Imagine the space exploration vehicles that could be built in GEO, their mass and fuel electrically lifted up there, already 91% up out of earth's gravitational energy well, ready to head for the Moon, asteroids, and other planets to explore, gather raw materials, and bring life to where there had been no life before. In GEO, we could build the "Stanford Torus" rotating city of 10,000 self-supporting people, originally designed for construction in L-5 back in the mid-1970's, except now build-able out of materials brought up from the earth surface instead of from the Moon's surface; and its population also lifted up there electrically just as easily, and easy commute back and forth. The potentials go on from there.
Remember what became possible due to the creation of a railway system across America, as compared to what was possible with horses and ox-drawn Conestoga wagon trains. What had been impossible became quite possible and eventually everyday to people. Such expansion potentials are foreseeable here, too.
And provides justification for serious examination of transportation systems based on the basic principle of excess outward centrifugal force of mass in a loop around a planet, being used the balance the weight of the hoop-shaped structure.