Space elevator to the moon

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Today I will tell you about scientists’ work to build a space elevator. Yes, a space lift! NASA has already started this project. But no one knows when the elevator will really be built. The Russian scientist Konstantin Tsiolkovsky first wrote about this idea in 1895. NASA explains that he imagined a “castle” in space attached by a cable to a tower on earth—like the Eiffel Tower. With such a cable, he thought the castle could orbit the earth in sync with the earth.

Today scientists think that such an elevator is totally possible and could transport materials to make a base on the moon. There are many different groups of people trying to build a space elevator. Each year there’s a competition to see who can design the best one. From a base on earth there would be a cable with counter-weight to help keep the elevator cable straight. The most important part of the elevator is the ribbon-like cable. (“Ribbon-like” means it will be flat, not round.) The cable is the most difficult part. It must be strong, but flexible. Scientists think it will be made of  “carbon nanotubes”.  The cable will reach more than 62,000 miles (100,000 km) into space. That is about 1/4 of the distance to the moon. 

Scientists think that the base on earth will be built on a huge ship. If it’s on a ship, the earth base and elevator can be moved when there are storms. Today they think that the cost of this project will be about 12 billion dollars.  

Next month I’ll have another story. But for now, it’s a surprise.

Dr.Surprise  (native language Ukrainian)

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