0536: "Space Elevators"

This forum is for the individual discussion thread that goes with each new comic.

Moderators: Moderators General, Prelates, Magistrates

User avatar
Kitsusyn
Posts: 27
Joined: Fri Sep 05, 2008 3:26 am UTC

Re: "Space Elevators" Discussion

Postby Kitsusyn » Wed Jan 28, 2009 2:52 pm UTC

Oh me yarm Oh Randall = ultimate win.
Get off my Internet.

User avatar
Dobblesworth
Dobblesworth, here's the title you requested over three years ago. -Banana
Posts: 1429
Joined: Wed May 30, 2007 12:06 pm UTC
Contact:

Re: "Space Elevators" Discussion

Postby Dobblesworth » Wed Jan 28, 2009 2:56 pm UTC

There's plenty of xkcd out there with "detailed environment" (read: a bit more shading than just lines to make trees). For instance, http://xkcd.com/461/ - *gasp* point lighting effects on trees, it MUST be a reference to that overhyped American funny pages strip comic. Fork rying out loud, stop drawing parallels to your beloved Calvin & Hobbes any time it's not a plain white background. How about we just say that because it's a detailed lake/forest vista, that it's a rip-off of the great artwork of real life? Such thinking makes one metric hell of a lot more sense to me.

In other news, a good xkcd installment FOR SCIENCE! Good to be enlightened by these so-called Space Fountains. Let's hope there's not a Princess Diana(ily Express) memorial version.

User avatar
bigglesworth
I feel like Biggles should have a title
Posts: 7461
Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2007 9:29 pm UTC
Location: Airstrip One

Re: "Space Elevators" Discussion

Postby bigglesworth » Wed Jan 28, 2009 2:59 pm UTC

For 461 my first thought was LotR.
Generation Y. I don't remember the First Gulf War, but do remember floppy disks.

keithc
Posts: 124
Joined: Thu Mar 08, 2007 11:12 pm UTC
Contact:

Re: "Space Elevators" Discussion

Postby keithc » Wed Jan 28, 2009 3:00 pm UTC

Steroid wrote:It's also life-affirming for those of us who don't have a racial identity.


err, how can racist stereotypes be life-affirming?

and, like accents, we all have a racial identity1. In my case, it's human, what's yours?

[1] I have a nephew who is quarter African, quarter Polish Jew, quarter Japanese and quarter African-American, so what does that make him?

cparker15
Posts: 42
Joined: Fri Jun 13, 2008 2:13 pm UTC
Location: Boston, MA
Contact:

Re: "Space Elevators" Discussion

Postby cparker15 » Wed Jan 28, 2009 3:13 pm UTC

keithc wrote:and, like accents, we all have a racial identity. In my case, it's human, what's yours?

When did "human" become a race?

It's been a while since I've watched Mind of Mencia, but if it's anything like what it was about a year ago, then I don't see why people have such a problem with it. People are way too uptight about stuff that doesn't really matter. We all should to be able to laugh at ourselves and the stereotypes in which we fit.
Peter Gibbons wrote:I'd say in a given week I probably only do about fifteen minutes of real, actual, work.

User avatar
bigglesworth
I feel like Biggles should have a title
Posts: 7461
Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2007 9:29 pm UTC
Location: Airstrip One

Re: "Space Elevators" Discussion

Postby bigglesworth » Wed Jan 28, 2009 3:18 pm UTC

Since Gary Gygax?
Generation Y. I don't remember the First Gulf War, but do remember floppy disks.

Kalos
Posts: 172
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2008 6:45 pm UTC

Re: "Space Elevators" Discussion

Postby Kalos » Wed Jan 28, 2009 3:23 pm UTC

Dobblesworth wrote:There's plenty of xkcd out there with "detailed environment" (read: a bit more shading than just lines to make trees). For instance, http://xkcd.com/461/ - *gasp* point lighting effects on trees, it MUST be a reference to that overhyped American funny pages strip comic. Fork rying out loud, stop drawing parallels to your beloved Calvin & Hobbes any time it's not a plain white background. How about we just say that because it's a detailed lake/forest vista, that it's a rip-off of the great artwork of real life? Such thinking makes one metric hell of a lot more sense to me.


Actually, it has more to do with the fact that the comic has been referenced already in XKCD, along with an art style and setting very common to the overhyped American funny pages strip comic. As well as the "long monologue with a paraphrase/quotation of another medium followed by a short non-committal response" was used rather frequently over the life of the overhyped American funny pages strip comic.

or the short version: cry moar

User avatar
Sprocket
Seymour
Posts: 5951
Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2007 6:04 pm UTC
Location: impaled on Beck's boney hips.
Contact:

Re: "Space Elevators" Discussion

Postby Sprocket » Wed Jan 28, 2009 3:26 pm UTC

Which pond is that?
"She’s a free spirit, a wind-rider, she’s at one with nature, and walks with the kodama eidolons”
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Zohar wrote: Down with the hipster binary! It's a SPECTRUM!

User avatar
The Tagger
Posts: 16
Joined: Mon Apr 07, 2008 2:56 pm UTC
Location: The obscure t-shirt producing planet known as Earth

Re: "Space Elevators" Discussion

Postby The Tagger » Wed Jan 28, 2009 3:29 pm UTC

Speaking of Calvin and Hobbes, just thought I would share this wonderful, wonderful website.

http://www.marcellosendos.ch/comics/ch/index.html

But only visit it if you want to read every Calvin and Hobbes cartoon in order of publication.
There are 10 kinds of people in this world: those who understand binary, and those who don't.

halcyon1234
Posts: 48
Joined: Wed Feb 06, 2008 6:04 am UTC

Re: "Space Elevators" Discussion

Postby halcyon1234 » Wed Jan 28, 2009 3:39 pm UTC

The Tagger wrote:Speaking of Calvin and Hobbes, just thought I would share this wonderful, wonderful website.

http://www.marcellosendos.ch/comics/ch/index.html

But only visit it if you want to read every Calvin and Hobbes cartoon in order of publication.


Lifespan: 3 weeks. =)
Writing for The Daily WTF
A More Permanent Join
Bessy Keeps You Safe
Passed Around

"I think Internet message boards used to be a lot funnier 10 years ago -- I've sort of stopped reading their new posts." -- Simpsons writer Matt Warburton

acatxnamedvirtue
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2009 5:49 pm UTC

Re: "Space Elevators" Discussion

Postby acatxnamedvirtue » Wed Jan 28, 2009 5:52 pm UTC

I like how there is already a "Popular Culture" section talking about the comic on the wikipedia page for Space Fountains.

I would expect nothing less =P

dexeron
Posts: 46
Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2009 5:51 pm UTC
Contact:

Re: "Space Elevators" Discussion

Postby dexeron » Wed Jan 28, 2009 5:55 pm UTC

Had to finally register because of the Clarke reference. Ambivilent about Mencia, but Clarke was the Master.

Kudos for the reference. As long as we all remember, he'll never be fully gone.
By and by, when the sidewalks are safe for the little guy...

User avatar
bigglesworth
I feel like Biggles should have a title
Posts: 7461
Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2007 9:29 pm UTC
Location: Airstrip One

Re: "Space Elevators" Discussion

Postby bigglesworth » Wed Jan 28, 2009 5:56 pm UTC

Uh, Mencia being bad is the point...
Generation Y. I don't remember the First Gulf War, but do remember floppy disks.

sje46
Posts: 4730
Joined: Wed May 14, 2008 4:41 am UTC
Location: New Hampshire

Re: "Space Elevators" Discussion

Postby sje46 » Wed Jan 28, 2009 5:56 pm UTC

cparker15 wrote:
keithc wrote:and, like accents, we all have a racial identity. In my case, it's human, what's yours?

When did "human" become a race?

It's been a while since I've watched Mind of Mencia, but if it's anything like what it was about a year ago, then I don't see why people have such a problem with it. 1. People are way too uptight about stuff that doesn't really matter. 2. We all should to be able to laugh at ourselves and the stereotypes in which we fit.

No.
No.
Nonononono.
1. Race matters, an d if you think it doesn't, I must ask how life is on Blisstonia.
2. Okay, so all black people are thieves, all Mexicans are lazy and all white are uptight?
Even if this were true that most people it these stereotypes, why should we laugh at them anyway? Shouldn't we educate the uneducated, motivate the unmotivated, etc? Laughig at them just makes us more cynical towards race.
Did you read my rant about him? All his jokes are racist, way too negative, he uses "deedeedee" to much, even when it doesn't apply, etc. He's making the youth think about life in only racist terms, and makes it seem okay to make fun of every race. HE's also a plagiarist and just not funny.

The show is incredbily racist, reducing races to rigid stereotypes. Using the word "retard" as a joke as well bothers me a lot.

Also, look! A midget. Hardee har har. Let's dress it in a costume and teach it to fight things.
Uh, Mencia being bad is the point...
Thank you.
Arthur C Clarke and Calvin and Hobbes are good at all, but the joke is about this comedian. I'm just surprised no one really cares.
Last edited by sje46 on Wed Jan 28, 2009 5:58 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
General_Norris: Taking pride in your nation is taking pride in the division of humanity.
Pirate.Bondage: Let's get married. Right now.

bobmanguything
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2009 5:54 pm UTC

Re: "Space Elevators" Discussion

Postby bobmanguything » Wed Jan 28, 2009 5:58 pm UTC

Hrm- Space fountains seem interesting enough. Even more interesting is the fact that if you cock your head to right(the design on the wiki page), it functions almost exactly the same way as it looks.

ThemePark
Posts: 450
Joined: Fri Jun 27, 2008 5:42 pm UTC
Location: Århus, Denmark

Re: "Space Elevators" Discussion

Postby ThemePark » Wed Jan 28, 2009 6:20 pm UTC

Dobblesworth wrote:There's plenty of xkcd out there with "detailed environment" (read: a bit more shading than just lines to make trees). For instance, http://xkcd.com/461/ - *gasp* point lighting effects on trees, it MUST be a reference to that overhyped American funny pages strip comic. Fork rying out loud, stop drawing parallels to your beloved Calvin & Hobbes any time it's not a plain white background. How about we just say that because it's a detailed lake/forest vista, that it's a rip-off of the great artwork of real life? Such thinking makes one metric hell of a lot more sense to me.

In other news, a good xkcd installment FOR SCIENCE! Good to be enlightened by these so-called Space Fountains. Let's hope there's not a Princess Diana(ily Express) memorial version.

Thank you for posting my thoughts.
I have traveled from 1979 to be a member of the unofficial board Council of Elders. Phear M3

User avatar
punkymonkey
Posts: 610
Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2009 5:57 pm UTC
Location: Florida
Contact:

Re: "Space Elevators" Discussion

Postby punkymonkey » Wed Jan 28, 2009 6:27 pm UTC

SwissArmyAnts wrote:The first thing I had to do, before I even checked the forums, was to google "space fountain".

XKCD makes us all smarter everyday. Hail Randal.


Aye!


I'm definitely not one of the brightest people in the world. Not having attended highschool didn't help with that. (highest grade I actually completed was 8th grade, then I went to an adult night school at 16) But.. at 24, I've grown tired of having nothing to talk about besides the latest Wiggles dvd (my son's obsessed with those four guys).. or work.. or college.. I'm tired of not being "smart" and having nothing of real substance to discuss with people...*sighs* ... Every single time Randal has talked about something through his comics that I didn't get or had never heard of.. I immediately start a mini research project. I even bought a biography of Blaise Pascal after reading one of the comics.. and have found a love for reading that I DID NOT possess before.

</ramble>

These comics provide a hell of a lot more than just humor. :D
<wst> punkymonkey is actually punky. phew

User avatar
Joshmonster
Posts: 10
Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2007 9:59 pm UTC

Re: "Space Elevators" Discussion

Postby Joshmonster » Wed Jan 28, 2009 6:30 pm UTC

bigglesworth wrote:Since Gary Gygax?


Good call :)

And I would like to thank XKCD for spreading the "mencia is the destroyer of all that is funny" philosophy. It is true in every way. I think more than just the laughter would stop if Mencia was on every channel though... that would pretty much be the end of TV for me :mrgreen:

User avatar
Brooklynxman
Because I'm Awesome
Posts: 609
Joined: Tue Jan 20, 2009 4:27 pm UTC
Location: Here
Contact:

Re: "Space Elevators" Discussion

Postby Brooklynxman » Wed Jan 28, 2009 6:32 pm UTC

(cur) (prev) 07:28, 28 January 2009 Hersfold (Talk | contribs) (12,586 bytes) (adding hidden comment which can be removed after three days - xkcd readers, please do not add links to xkcd, they will be removed.)

:) we really do act fast. ^5 to whoever linked to the comic from wikipedia
We figure out what all this means, then do something large and violent

The thing about changing the world...once you do it the world's all different.

I'm Angel. I beat the bad guys.

Spoiler:
Image

Optimystic
Posts: 15
Joined: Tue Oct 21, 2008 6:44 pm UTC

Re: "Space Elevators" Discussion

Postby Optimystic » Wed Jan 28, 2009 6:37 pm UTC

Mencia's STAND-UP is awful. It's puerile, relies far too heavily on racial jokes (the word "beaner" is almost a punchline for the man), and is clearly catered toward fraternity humor. His skits are of a much better quality, however, like the kids show where he dresses up as a dinosaur, or when he spoofed the rappers that ended up in jail like Snoop Dogg or lil' Kim, or when he goes to the streets with a microphone.

If it's good racial humor you want though, turn on Dave Chappelle. And avoid that Chocolate News crap they replaced him with.

User avatar
dennisw
Posts: 441
Joined: Wed Nov 05, 2008 9:09 am UTC
Location: Appearing pro se AND pro bono!
Contact:

Re: "Space Elevators" Discussion

Postby dennisw » Wed Jan 28, 2009 6:38 pm UTC

acatxnamedvirtue wrote:I like how there is already a "Popular Culture" section talking about the comic on the wikipedia page for Space Fountains.

I would expect nothing less =P

Oh me yarm! You totally gave me an idea! I went to the library and used a green Sharpie and wrote an article about Space Elevators and Fountains on page 559 in Volume 18 (So-Sz) of the 1972 edition of the World Book Encyclopedia complete with a reference to this xkcd comic! Oh me yarm - encyclopedias you can edit yourself totally ROCK!
Try the Printifier for xkcd. You can now scale the comic between 50 and 150%.

I find these very useful: Common Errors in English Usage (web site) and Eats, Shoots & Leaves (book). You may, too.

e pluribus unum
Unleash unlicensed ungulates!

User avatar
SirMustapha
Posts: 1302
Joined: Mon Jul 21, 2008 6:07 pm UTC

Re: "Space Elevators" Discussion

Postby SirMustapha » Wed Jan 28, 2009 7:03 pm UTC

I think this holds the record for First humourous XKCD strip at which I didn't laugh at all -- probably because of how bored I am of space elevators and for not knowing who Mencia was.

At least I know that's merely personal bias, and not "Oh me yarm xkcd sucks now, it's so overrated".

Soralin
Posts: 1347
Joined: Wed May 07, 2008 12:06 am UTC

Re: "Space Elevators" Discussion

Postby Soralin » Wed Jan 28, 2009 7:12 pm UTC

I think the Launch Loop idea is better then either of those, think of it sort of like a space fountain turned on it's side, and used to launch objects at high speed into orbit or escape velocity.

stone915
Posts: 42
Joined: Wed Jan 07, 2009 4:31 am UTC

Re: "Space Elevators" Discussion

Postby stone915 » Wed Jan 28, 2009 8:48 pm UTC

sje46 wrote: I'm sure almost all alliterate people over the age of 10 know the alphabet.


No offense, because I agree with everything you said about Mencia, but I found it ironic that you spelled "illiterate" incorrectly.

User avatar
ninjacore
Posts: 213
Joined: Fri Jan 23, 2009 8:05 pm UTC
Location: Washington, USA
Contact:

Re: "Space Elevators" Discussion

Postby ninjacore » Wed Jan 28, 2009 8:50 pm UTC

bigglesworth wrote:Since Gary Gygax?


haha


I had to look up space fountains too. They're straight up crazy but awesome. :D
__________________

Wars are inherently exercises in unleashing and restraining chaos. The clash of opposing sides unleashes primal passions, which can only be controlled through enormous effort.

Siguy
Posts: 31
Joined: Tue Sep 30, 2008 12:12 am UTC

Re: "Space Elevators" Discussion

Postby Siguy » Wed Jan 28, 2009 8:59 pm UTC

The space elevator is a ridiculous idea. First of all, it involves creating a 40,000 kilometer long cable of freaking CARBON NANOTUBES, which we can currently produce about a millimeter long, anchored to a massive object in geostationary orbit. It would cost trillions of dollars, no matter what technology you have. It is then severely limited. It can only launch payloads to the pretty-much useless geostationary orbit, and it would take months to do that, giving any astronauts heavy doses of radiation from the Van-Allen belts. Its payload capacity would be severely limited, and because of that would certainly never pay off. Whether it would actually even be cheaper per-launch than advanced rockets is up for dispute.

It's only use is to distract people from the Launch Loop.

Never heard of it? I'm not surprised. The Lofstrom (Launch) Loop is a proposal for a 2000km-long iron cable which is in continuous motion, suspending it 80km high. It could launch over 6 million metric tons per year into low Earth orbit (much more useful for most applications than GEO) for less than $3/kg. Sure, it would be a feat of engineering, but incredibly simple in comparison to the space elevator. It doesn't need any research into advanced materials science, we could probably start working on one now. It would cost $30 billion, but it's still quite sane when you look at this crazy fantasy known as the space elevator.

kelvinc
Posts: 35
Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2008 11:24 pm UTC

Re: "Space Elevators" Discussion

Postby kelvinc » Wed Jan 28, 2009 9:16 pm UTC

I've always liked space fountains because I imagined a constant stream of "bloop" sounds at the top. Imagine my disappointment when I realized that the particle stream isn't supposed to just bounce off. :|

whomever1
Posts: 13
Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2008 6:03 am UTC

Re: "Space Elevators" Discussion

Postby whomever1 » Wed Jan 28, 2009 9:19 pm UTC

Laser (or other beam) propulsion might be a nice way to launch stuff too. Bot at least space elevators could help raise satellites from low Earth orbit to geosynchronous orbit, and beyond. It would certainly be a much cheaper way to start than going all the way to the ground.

User avatar
arbivark
Posts: 531
Joined: Wed May 23, 2007 5:29 am UTC

Re: "Space Elevators" Discussion

Postby arbivark » Wed Jan 28, 2009 9:38 pm UTC

..."unless they already have the entire opus memorised, in which case: remember! NOW!"...


That does seem to be Hobbes in the tree on the right.

User avatar
Flippy
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Jan 25, 2009 9:31 pm UTC
Contact:

Re: "Space Elevators" Discussion

Postby Flippy » Wed Jan 28, 2009 10:03 pm UTC

I'm still wondering, what laughing has to do with the space elevators :-P

Steroid
Posts: 549
Joined: Wed Mar 26, 2008 10:50 am UTC

Re: "Space Elevators" Discussion

Postby Steroid » Wed Jan 28, 2009 10:05 pm UTC

keithc wrote:
Steroid wrote:It's also life-affirming for those of us who don't have a racial identity.


err, how can racist stereotypes be life-affirming?

and, like accents, we all have a racial identity1. In my case, it's human, what's yours?

[1] I have a nephew who is quarter African, quarter Polish Jew, quarter Japanese and quarter African-American, so what does that make him?


Right, I'm similar, mix of Italian, Native American, Scandanavian, Quebecois, and Russian. But apart from a penchant for Tchaikovsky and rooting for the Nordiques before they moved, I don't have any of the character traits of those races. And when I go into work with the German, the Irish, the Middle Eastern, and the Hatian, we're all a lot closer to each other as people than we are to other Germans, Irish, etc. But, when someone comes in who does live up to their racial stereotype--e.g., the black woman who has more kids than she can afford with several fathers, wears sweats to the office, and eats at KFC every week*, we laugh at her.

*Note that these are chosen practices. We don't make fun of her for having big lips. You can't control that.

User avatar
Internetmeme
Posts: 1405
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2008 3:16 pm UTC
Location: South Carolina, USA

Re: "Space Elevators" Discussion

Postby Internetmeme » Wed Jan 28, 2009 10:22 pm UTC

Huh, you learn something new every day. I thought a "space fountain" would turn up to be some innuendo about sex (remember rule 34), but apparently, it's an actual idea!

Also, am I the only one who finds it weird that our resident troll hasn't posted yet? I find his posts so alliterite (;P) that they're funny. I hope the mods/admins didn't ban him.
Spoiler:

Rilian
Posts: 496
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2007 1:33 pm UTC

Re: "Space Elevators" Discussion

Postby Rilian » Wed Jan 28, 2009 10:45 pm UTC

I laugh at that show, so it wouldn't work for that reason, among others.
And I'm -2.

sje46
Posts: 4730
Joined: Wed May 14, 2008 4:41 am UTC
Location: New Hampshire

Re: "Space Elevators" Discussion

Postby sje46 » Wed Jan 28, 2009 11:36 pm UTC

Steroid wrote:
keithc wrote:
Steroid wrote:It's also life-affirming for those of us who don't have a racial identity.


err, how can racist stereotypes be life-affirming?

and, like accents, we all have a racial identity1. In my case, it's human, what's yours?

[1] I have a nephew who is quarter African, quarter Polish Jew, quarter Japanese and quarter African-American, so what does that make him?


Right, I'm similar, mix of Italian, Native American, Scandanavian, Quebecois, and Russian. But apart from a penchant for Tchaikovsky and rooting for the Nordiques before they moved, I don't have any of the character traits of those races. And when I go into work with the German, the Irish, the Middle Eastern, and the Hatian, we're all a lot closer to each other as people than we are to other Germans, Irish, etc. But, when someone comes in who does live up to their racial stereotype--e.g., the black woman who has more kids than she can afford with several fathers, wears sweats to the office, and eats at KFC every week*, we laugh at her.

*Note that these are chosen practices. We don't make fun of her for having big lips. You can't control that.

First off, Italian, Scandanacian, Quebecois and Russian are not races.
Also, races do not have character traits.
Thirdly, that woman clearly has problems. She has been abused and mistreated by men, and suffers from poverty. Would you laugh at a white woman who has the same problem, or are you only laughing at this woman because she is so dumb that she doesn't try hard enough to lift her race up from the stereotypes? Well, I don't think you should force people of a different race or ethnicity to a certain standard and not enforce it of another race. If you think that the woman is a joke for living that way, fine, as long as you feel the same way about white women who live the same way.
Now, is it justified to laugh at a black women for eating at KFC every week because of the health issues or because she is fulfilling a stereotype? Okay, it is more acceptable to laugh at her for health reasons, but not at her for liking fried chicken.
KFC is quite good, by the way.
The onus is on everyone to rid themselves of prejudice, not for the discriminated to act in a way opposite of prejudice, and also to fix social problems that cuase negative stereotypes to be fulfilled. If black children are uneducated, teach them.
EDIT: otherwise, all you're doing is laughing at someone for the fun of it, something which is pointless and self-serving.
General_Norris: Taking pride in your nation is taking pride in the division of humanity.
Pirate.Bondage: Let's get married. Right now.

User avatar
ConMan
Shepherd's Pie?
Posts: 1691
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2008 11:56 am UTC
Location: Beacon Alpha

Re: "Space Elevators" Discussion

Postby ConMan » Thu Jan 29, 2009 12:43 am UTC

Flippy wrote:I'm still wondering, what laughing has to do with the space elevators :-P

It's a deliberate misunderstanding of Clarke's quote. What he actually meant wasn't "50 years after everyone stops laughing at everything", but "50 years after everyone stops laughing at the idea of a giant elevator". In other words, he thought that it would take about 50 years of serious research to have everything in place to actually build a working space elevator.
pollywog wrote:
Wikihow wrote:* Smile a lot! Give a gay girl a knowing "Hey, I'm a lesbian too!" smile.
I want to learn this smile, perfect it, and then go around smiling at lesbians and freaking them out.

User avatar
Kadzar
Posts: 110
Joined: Wed Nov 05, 2008 2:40 am UTC

Re: "Space Elevators" Discussion

Postby Kadzar » Thu Jan 29, 2009 1:14 am UTC

Siguy wrote:The space elevator is a ridiculous idea. First of all, it involves creating a 40,000 kilometer long cable of freaking CARBON NANOTUBES, which we can currently produce about a millimeter long, anchored to a massive object in geostationary orbit. It would cost trillions of dollars, no matter what technology you have. It is then severely limited. It can only launch payloads to the pretty-much useless geostationary orbit, and it would take months to do that, giving any astronauts heavy doses of radiation from the Van-Allen belts. Its payload capacity would be severely limited, and because of that would certainly never pay off. Whether it would actually even be cheaper per-launch than advanced rockets is up for dispute.

It's only use is to distract people from the Launch Loop.

Never heard of it? I'm not surprised. The Lofstrom (Launch) Loop is a proposal for a 2000km-long iron cable which is in continuous motion, suspending it 80km high. It could launch over 6 million metric tons per year into low Earth orbit (much more useful for most applications than GEO) for less than $3/kg. Sure, it would be a feat of engineering, but incredibly simple in comparison to the space elevator. It doesn't need any research into advanced materials science, we could probably start working on one now. It would cost $30 billion, but it's still quite sane when you look at this crazy fantasy known as the space elevator.

That's nothing. Paul Birch's orbital ring can lift payloads for $0.05/kg. Oneup-manship ftw.
Geogriffith wrote:
Dad, where is Grandpa right now?

"His source code was forked, backups moved off-site, and merged with a compatible project with similar goals. As was mine, as will yours be, someday."
Some Sort of Shuriken-Based Propulsion

Ch'marr
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2008 5:48 pm UTC

Re: "Space Elevators" Discussion

Postby Ch'marr » Thu Jan 29, 2009 1:50 am UTC


User avatar
PhantomPhanatic
Posts: 84
Joined: Thu Nov 13, 2008 5:32 am UTC

Re: "Space Elevators" Discussion

Postby PhantomPhanatic » Thu Jan 29, 2009 1:53 am UTC

For some reason the couple sitting together at the lake reminds me of a scene from Songs of Distant Earth, in which the guy rides a space elevator (with interesting results).
We can lick gravity, but sometimes the paperwork is overwhelming.
-- Wernher Von Braun

User avatar
EvilHankVenture
Posts: 14
Joined: Tue Dec 23, 2008 7:09 pm UTC

Re: "Space Elevators" Discussion

Postby EvilHankVenture » Thu Jan 29, 2009 2:12 am UTC

Randall get out of my head! I was just explaining space elevators and space fountains to a friend of mine, and berated another friend for imitating Mencia (Yelling DeeeDeeDee over and over is not funny!). He steals jokes and not even good jokes, he has shitty delivery (yelling does not automatically make you funnier unless you're Sam Kinison). I heard better jokes in high school.

brodieboy255
Posts: 58
Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2007 10:40 am UTC

Re: "Space Elevators" Discussion

Postby brodieboy255 » Thu Jan 29, 2009 3:39 am UTC

TheHand wrote:If you're not part of the solution, Randall, you're part of the precipitate


Fix'd


Return to “Individual XKCD Comic Threads”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Lothario O'Leary and 97 guests