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Old 05-07-2012, 11:57 PM
 
Location: Chesterfield,Virginia
4,923 posts, read 4,160,115 times
Reputation: 2639

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Okay .. If nothing else, this will prove that I have 'absolutely' No Life!

Try to follow me on this, it's important, (at least to me) and will determine when and IF I will ever get another nights sleep!

Here goes and remember .. this is all hypothetical. (I think)

Two important points to be considered before I ask the question:

(1) A rocket needs to reach approximately 25,000 mph to escape earth's gravity.

(2) You weigh more, the closer you are to earth's surface.
(ex: You weigh more on Florida's beaches than you do at the peak of Mount Everest)

Now 'suppose' that you could lower a spiral type stairway from a .. non moving, (in relation to the ground) space station and the stairway stayed attached to the station and was anchored on earth. (silly huh)

My question, (finally) .. What, besides no oxygen, freezing cold (and Really bad blisters) would prevent a person from 'walking' up that stairway to the space station?
(A 25,000 mph Walk?)

SEE?
No Life!
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Old 05-08-2012, 01:07 AM
 
Location: Chesterfield,Virginia
4,923 posts, read 4,160,115 times
Reputation: 2639
BTW: Don't take this too literally.

The staircase is just a scenario and I don't Really expect one to be built and I realize all the 'weight' and 'synchronization' problems.
(This is all fantasy)

What I was wondering is .. Since a rocket MUST travel at 25,000 mph to escape the earths gravity .. Could a person walk to the station at less than the 25,000 mph?
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Old 05-08-2012, 09:10 AM
 
28,631 posts, read 40,613,958 times
Reputation: 37316
Yes, but I'd prefer a space elevator. Two buttons: Earth and Space



You would need restaurants, rest areas, and bathrooms attached to your stairway. Hotels would also be a good idea.
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Old 05-08-2012, 11:33 AM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
18,546 posts, read 55,485,543 times
Reputation: 32304
The concept is valid. There have been a few science fiction books on the subject which explored issues. You have to start from very close to the equator, any such elevator or stair has to be away from civilization in case something "cuts the cable" and there has to be a balancing of the weight of it in some fashion, which in effect means that energy has to be continually applied. using the magnetic field of earth as a "push point" is one thought of how to do that. Just extending the cable out further than the geosynch point isn't the best solution.
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Old 05-08-2012, 02:59 PM
 
Location: Texas State Fair
8,565 posts, read 9,808,061 times
Reputation: 4230
I'd go with the space elevator. Glenn Reynolds, Law Prof at UTenn, and creator of Instapundit has been writing and linking to articles about them for a few years. At least ten.
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Old 05-08-2012, 08:45 PM
 
Location: Westwood, MA
3,608 posts, read 4,777,981 times
Reputation: 4663
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrClose View Post
Okay .. If nothing else, this will prove that I have 'absolutely' No Life!

Try to follow me on this, it's important, (at least to me) and will determine when and IF I will ever get another nights sleep!

Here goes and remember .. this is all hypothetical. (I think)

Two important points to be considered before I ask the question:

(1) A rocket needs to reach approximately 25,000 mph to escape earth's gravity.
Not quite. A rocket from the Earth's surface would need to be going approximately 25,000 mph to escape Earth's gravity without supplying additional force. In the same way you throw a ball up and it slows down, when the rocket did escape Earth's gravity it wouldn't be going nearly that fast. An alternate method of escaping Earth's gravity would be to continuously apply enough force counteracting gravity so that you moved up at 1 mph (or even slower). At no point does the rocket need to go at 25000 mph; that's more like a bullet.

Another subtlety is that 25000 mph is the escape velocity, but satellites (and even the moon) haven't escaped Earth's gravity, they've merely entered into orbit, which requires considerably less speed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrClose View Post
(2) You weigh more, the closer you are to earth's surface.
(ex: You weigh more on Florida's beaches than you do at the peak of Mount Everest)

Now 'suppose' that you could lower a spiral type stairway from a .. non moving, (in relation to the ground) space station and the stairway stayed attached to the station and was anchored on earth. (silly huh)

My question, (finally) .. What, besides no oxygen, freezing cold (and Really bad blisters) would prevent a person from 'walking' up that stairway to the space station?
(A 25,000 mph Walk?)

SEE?
No Life!
There's nothing that would prevent what you're describing (this being like the 1mph rocket rather than the 25000 mph bullet) and as other's have mentioned is essentially a space elevator. If you calculate the forces on such a structure, however, you quickly realize that it would take an amazing material not to snap under the immense tension applied.
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Old 05-09-2012, 03:40 AM
 
Location: Chesterfield,Virginia
4,923 posts, read 4,160,115 times
Reputation: 2639
Some great answers and a lot of fun too!

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Old 05-09-2012, 08:08 AM
 
Location: Texas
5,070 posts, read 9,078,959 times
Reputation: 1632
I wonder what the tidal affects would be from the moon, if any?
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Old 05-09-2012, 11:13 AM
 
28,631 posts, read 40,613,958 times
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I noticed that no one has calculated how long it would take to walk up that spiral staircase?

Any takers?

Can it be done in one lifetime?
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Old 05-09-2012, 01:58 PM
 
Location: Texas State Fair
8,565 posts, read 9,808,061 times
Reputation: 4230
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tek_Freek View Post
I noticed that no one has calculated how long it would take to walk up that spiral staircase?

Any takers?

Can it be done in one lifetime?
It took long enough just to ride the seated elevator at the Arch in St. Louis. I'd need something that would zip right up to a landing platform.
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