Lunar Space Elevator / ME-L1.1 or LL1.1 Space Elevator

(where shielding becomes moon dirt cheap, especially if that's of the bone dry lunar clumping dirt)

by; Brad Guth / IEIS    updated: September 02, 2004

Fewer words, though there's still going to be some more of those corrections and more than likely weird ideas than you can shake a flaming stick at, such as our relocating our existing ISS or better that of creating our NExT generation ISS and, there's even more to come, such as these confusing space elevator numbers, possibly more than you can shake that flaming stick at, plus I've got a basic picture or graphic of the GV-CM-CCM Space Elevator, of at least representing what one of my allusions is all about (it obviously needs loads of work, such as 64 bit 3D animation and surround-sound).

This is also about the ultimate Vandegraph generator from hell, or perhaps this will eventually become sort of like tapping into the BIG BANG cosmic battery that may soon become the one deciding factor that's a whole lot more than we bargained for.

Lunar Space Elevator Linear Tether Considerations:

363,300 km, ME-L1 = 58,128 km, L1.1 = 63,941 km (-1738 km = 62,203 km)
405,500 km, ME-L1 = 64,880 km, L1.1 = 71,368 km (-1738 km = 69,630 km)

ME L1 = .00038995 G, EM L1 = .00038995 G, thus ME L1 - EM L1 = O G

Keeping in mind that this effort was one of my first papers regarding the notions of a lunar based space elevator, thus quite a good deal was pure fantasy, with the rest being compiled of supposition upon supposition that seemed perfectly good for go as long as no one other was willing to share and share alike, or just sharing their usual disinformation is still worth something if it eventually leads me into unstanding more than I know.

This is a dynamically active or perhaps interactive space anchor (CM pendulum that really doesn't swing all that much), say artificially being situated or created at roughly ME-L 1.1 is going to have a great deal to offer. Since the variations of dealing with any fixed tether as a linear distance is going to always be of something greater than the outermost ME-L1 (65,000 km), whereas for this to be the case could necessitate creating a maximum L1.1 of 71,500 km (minus moon radius = 69,630 km) tether, of which if the moon surface anchor(s) were fixed, the outer depot of moon dirt (mostly basalt) could likely gyrate to as much as +/- 2.4. However, that is unless such wide dynamics were being supplemented by a solar/nuclear powered EMP solution, as this energy assisted method of damping could perchance deal with moderating those oscillations or perturbations to being within a few degrees as mostly affected by the solar gravity and of solar wind within this reasonably narrow oscillation zone, and/or by way of applying some linear placement of merely helping to shift the CM inward or out, as that also being another function of requiring a certain amount of solar/nuclear powered consideration. After all, nothing happens all that fast with regard to the moon and of it's gravitational association mostly with Earth and secondly with the sun, seemingly allowing ample time for a +/- 3,376 km tether robotic function, or there's always the add/subtract of lunar dirt compensation that another somewhat dirt cheap scheme.

A few other methods of active compensation might have to include:

An active CM reel or cable storage within, that could manage the +/- 3,376 km or even less if I'm only half right).

Applying other stabilizing EMPD thrusters of solar/nuclear powered format, and since this CM essentially has little if any weight limitations and the fact that there's no GreenPeace anywhere in sight, I'd vote for the nuclear/EMPD thrusters.

Since any L-1.1 CM should be leading the lunar rotation, A second conveyer cable deployment to a lateral/aft moon anchor point (at least -1000 km), might not become such a bad idea.

Another thought is based entirely upon utilizing that clumping moon dirt; if a little moon dirt at L1.1 is a good thing, then perhaps a great deal of moon dirt is an even better idea. So, instead of 1000 tonnes, how about 1,000,000 tonnes. After all, LL-1.1 is still representing nearly zero gravity, only very slightly being pulled towards Earth (.000405 G). Of course LL-1.1 is continually in flux, shifting itself by as much as +/- 3,376 km, presumably remaining somewhat centered upon Earth but otherwise continually influenced by the sun but also by Earth's bulge, of which I believe a relatively small amount of EMP thrust can manage to deal with this otherwise slow oscillation inducement to within a few meters, which would greatly alleviate the need for otherwise depending upon linear ME/LL-1.1 compensations.

If push comes down to shove, the ME-L 1.1 space CM linear adjustments could be made capable of compensating at a minimum rate of 10 km/hr, utilizing a dynamic linear distance of +/- 3,376 km, that's only +/- 338 hours worth (676 hours full stroke, which should never become necessary) out of 656 hours in every lunar cycle (keeping in mind that a inbound counter/counter balance [CCM] that's relatively closer to the lunar surface could be doing some if not all of of this work, where actually there could even be a matching pair of up/down CCM balance weights that could be actively running on the lower cable zone, so as to +/- the rate of release or retraction, or perhaps even to lock the cables at any time).

Now that I'm totally confused, I've had this other nagging thought of an inward Counter Counter Mass (CCM) that would become the interactive robotic sort of dynamic leverage force or compensation unit that could if need be travel itself up/down the interactive adjustment/trim cables and/or lock in position at any given point in order to impose the desired direction of cable release and/or pull back, thus greatly affecting the otherwise nearly free pendulum of a singular tether.

What a really good lunar space elevator is all about

Obtaining Affordable Spacecraft Radiation Shielding, without the aftermath or afterbirth of creating thousands of CO2 tonnes for Earth;
We seem to be able to get ourselves into orbit, even headed towards and all about our moon, and possibly eventually out to another planet, though doing all that along with sufficient physical shielding hasn't been accomplished, as even ISS remains insufficiently shielded as for accommodating any Mars or Venus class expedition. If this ISS/VL2 expedition necessitated covering ISS by a meter in depth worth of clumping basalt moon dirt and, if that surrounding hull cavity was to take on a volume of 300 m3, then obviously we'd be in need of two years worth of surplus lunar soil as extracted from the LSE-CM/ISS depot, that is if the initial elevator delivery rate was merely poking itself along at messily 1 kg/minute. Thus my original thoughts of achieving at least 1 kg/second might actually become a more realistic goal, as once the first operating phase of any space elevator is in motion, the future buildup of capacity should go exponentially faster, as well as for the tethers gaining upon robust hauling capability with every new cable and/or technology upgrade applied.

Constructing any sort of space elevator from the top down seems like another perfectly sane win-win advantage over that of accomplishing any Earthly based space elevator from the bottom up, since so much of the lunar CM and of it's internal infrastructure could be robotically delivered and even somewhat auto assembled, then payloads of the all essential tether could arrive and of its deployment managed from within the relatively large but sufficiently hollow CM and, we could obviously use the lunar gravity to our advantage instead of our having to continually work against any significant gravity, not to mention having NOT the least bit of weather nor hardly much if any atmospherics to deal with, even solar weather could be of little consideration if the manned construction and tether deployment phase were developed during lunar nighttime (and earthshine), just having loads of terrific space/radiation induced electrical energy to deal with, as so well demonstrated by a previous shuttle/tether experiment that David Sereda managed to get us a copy of.

Perhaps the thought of placing ISS on patrol about the lunar ME-L1 might also become another worthwhile thing to helping with getting the (1e6 m3) replacement ISS completed within the newly constructed (1e7 m3 or larger) sphere, whereas this lunar L1.1 CM/ISS might as well turn out looking somewhat exactly like a miniature Borg sphere of perhaps 300 meters, bigger yet if you've established either the cables worthy enough to hold on, or adjusted the deployment past the ME-L1 nullification zone in order to suit whatever mass you've got in mind.

With a little further regard to creating a sufficient CM mass;
Since a m3 of lunar soil = 3410 kg, every cubic meter worth of that clumping lunar soil will essentially be saving our global warming environment from as much as 3410 tonnes of CO2, that which would have been otherwise created by having to mine and process whatever and then having to conventionally launch that same amount of aluminum or whatever density into space, whereas that process creating lots of CO2, especially so if that's to be placed into any interplanetary mission. I believe having resolved that testy issue is another win-win as well as tree-hugging green as it's going to get solution.

Obviously if we loaded this 300 meter diameter CM sphere all the way to the brim, excluding the 1e6 m3 ISS habitat zone within, we'd have created a rather hefty CM of exceeding 45e9 kg, perhaps with shell and internal infrastructure obtaining a whopping composite mass of 50e9 kg. Of course having the CCM residing itself at ME-L 0.9 could be dynamically adjusted to somewhat if not entirely compensate, as well as the station keeping point of the CM regulated as to remaining at ME-L 1.1, or perhaps not being so regulated by linear distance as much as being EMP thrusted about. That brings up the point of my having to discover from others of how much EMP thrust will be necessary (lots I assume).

Here are some more of those confusing numbers: If the Earth/Moon = 385,000 km
The EM-L1 @84% = 323,400 km, the Earth gravity pull = .000389:1G
The ME-L1 @16% = 061,600 km, the lunar gravity pull = .000794:1G
Obviously the net result of these two opposing pulls = 0.0 Gravity @ME-L1
Whereas ME-L 1.1 might otherwise represent a collective tug or tension of perhaps 0.001G ?
Thus per 1e9 kg of CM could if need be represent as much as 1e6 kg worth of tether tensioning, minus whatever the interactively variable CCM and the cables themselves introduce. Obviously the more applied CM = more tension, where it seems the sky's either the limit or representing just about whatever you'd care to make of it. Actually, I don;t see any problem whatsoever, by way of adjusting the CM and/or the CCM by mass and/or via linear position compensation should give thse LSE-CM/ISS every option under the sun, and then some

The GUTH Venus CM-CCM Lunar Space Elevator
The clumping moon dirt depot in the sky, providing radiation shielding that's moon dirt cheap

This initial lunar space elevator concept is using at least two parallel cables (more likely 3 or 4), operating itself at a rate of 100 km/hr. These cables run the path that's obviously up to the CM, then down and around the CCM, back up to the CM and returning to the moon, where on the lunar surface are the primary cable drive units and whatever pod interchanging and on-goings of surface mining of all that nifty clumping moon dirt, that which was so highly surface reflective that those Apollo images seemed unable to ever record the otherwise 10% reflective aspect of any lunar terrain that you or I see. So, the sooner we get that nasty reflective and annoyingly clumping stuff off the moon the better. The pods are robotic, also shielded with a surround of moon dirt, and capable of averaging at least 1000 km/hr, thus through various cable wheel drives and of being solar/nuclear powered, were these empowered pods supply the serious up/down transports, plus accommodating all that moon dirt delivery to the primary CM, where subsequently whatever amounts needed for the CCM are transported by smaller pods to/from the primary CM stash, thus adjusting the given mass of the CCM which in turn pulls or releases the cables so that the CM regulates at ME-L 1.1, thus helping to stabilize the pendulum aspects. In addition, there should be a few of those EMP thrusters involved, not so much for tensioning aspects as would be required of any Earth space elevator but, for further damping the oscillations, as ideally the goal is to make the CM as still as possible (centrally aligned with Earth), since the last thing we'll need is for any space elevator pendulum loaded with a hefty cash of 1e9 km running itself amuck, only getting worse off as the CM accomulates towards 50e9 km. The surface transport from the down elevator over to the up elevator would likely run itself along side or on top via those continuous cables that make their way across the lunar landscape at the rate of 100 km/hr. This is also where those tonnes of whatever moon dirt and minerals are loaded for their ultimate delivery to this dirt depot in the sky.

This part is mostly about what's possible, as within reach, as well as in doable

ISS @ME-L1.1: our NExT generation of ISS that's easily within existing technology, offering a safe abode situated within the lunar CM;

Somehow I'd have to believe that one of the great benefits of having such a terrific stash of moon dirt situated in the capacity of 1e9 kg (maximum 100e9 kg) would become that of affording another manned space station that's essentially situated safely within the CM sphere or cube itself, as such being nearly as radiation proof as it's ever going to get and, even the absolute worst the sun or other space debris has to toss at you is not likely to cause structural nor radiation penetration into the core habitat zone (damn little secondary radiation as well). This core habitat zone could eventually become our next ISS, offering as much as 1e6 m3 worth of interior, sort of a Borg sphere and cube within, that's otherwise nicely surrounded by several meters worth of that all important clumping moon dirt (mostly basalt that's been processed after extracting the He3). Obviously, from this staging/gateway point or ME-L1.1, besides off-loading said moon dirt and He3 as fuel to other missions in need of radiation shielding as well as physical impact shielding, all sorts of EVA safe and of Earthshine illuminated and thus extended EVA lunar expeditions are possible, otherwise countless Earth sciences could be performed, including interplanetary communications and just plain old basic astronomy, especially by way of those images provided via crisp 16-bit VLA-SAR format, as we're talking about some rather serious resolution capabilities, especially if the available separation of the transmitter and receiving aperture is Earth/moon.

Because this lunar space elevator or virtually any such space elevator application is hardly another of my expertise, I'd very much like some of your valuable feedback or even the usual flak if that's all you've got to offer. Basically, I'll need some specific numbers and/or a few other pages which I can post as links as well as credits. So, if you've got another idea or something to contribute that's positive or simply a little informative, I'll certainly appreciate it and insure that you receive all the credit (I believe that's something that even NASA will not do, unless it's insuring something in return for their ultimate salvation, such as right about now they seem to need all they can get because, their budget cutting commander and chief warlord isn't exactly a happy camper these days).

The Ultimate Vandegraph Generator from Hell

Without a doubt, there's going to be absolute hell to pay for anyone associated with this tether. Even without it being in motion as suggested by the proposed 100 km/hr factor, as just from the space radiation induced energy may become far more than we bargained for. Adding insult to injury; the fact that these cables are likely to be in motion is likely to induce even more energy, or perhaps even induce a little death. Recalling David Sereda's copy of a NASA video of our our first space tether experiment is shocking to say the least. Perhaps the "BIG BANG" is what's at the manifestation of all this, as if in fact energy can not be eliminated, only altered and/or converted, thus any significant tether is simply swimming about within the ongoing BIG BANG cloud of energy, of which everything we see and can't see was created by such, and as such energy having empowered everything by that event, which according to many researchers is still an ongoing episode that we're all part of this BIG BANG.

We're not exactly talking about playful electrostatic discharges, at least not with regard to such a natural space radiation dipole like antenna that could perhaps even make uncle Nikola Tesla come back to life. I'm thinking along the lines of at least 1e9 volts that's packing some serious current. Adding that this set of cables might need to be in constant motion (at a fairly good clip of 100 km/hr), in a near vacuum of almost absolute electrical insulation no less is surely to induce and/or extract even further energy, perhaps to a much greater extent than our primitive technology can tolerate. There's even an off chance that from such horrific space radiation induced energy that the entire tether operation could be powered up with energy to spare. All we'll need to do is figure out how the hell anyone is going to get within 1000 km of it without their getting absplutely fried in the process.

Question 1;  How many terra volts or perhaps mega-tera-volts would it take as to jump/arc from the lunar space elevator CM or CCM to the lunar surface?

Question 2;  How about the voltage potential that's created just between the CM and CCM, especially since the CCM is of a lunar gravity polarity and the CM remains of Earth gravity polarity?

Question 3;  Is there actually any significant free voltage conduction mode within outer space?

If there's little if any free space voltage of conduction, then energy storage should become rather simple, extremely efficient and perhaps easily obtained from just about any significant tether application, such as that clearly demonstrated by what energy had severed the first tether experiment was most likely the fact of there being too much energy.

GV-CM-CCM Lunar Space Elevator Plan-B

Instead of having all those tether cables in motion, as previously suggested, as for primarily functioning as the continuous conveyer modem by which moon dirt is initially transported from the surface to the CM and otherwise to/from the CCM, whereas in this elevator Plan-B I've fixed those cables into the moon, at roughly the same 1000 km spacing. The idea here is that the pods would be doing all of their own motivation, powered by EMP or EMPD thrusters and/or perhaps electro-mechanical wheel drives upon those taut cables of silica and basalt composites.

This Plan-B requires that the mass and/or position of the CCM be continuously adjusted, so as to dynamically compensate against the CM, by the CCM taking in and/or returning moon dirt to/from the CM, insuring that the CM remains somewhat stabilized at ME-L1.1 and/or its pendulum activity subdued within spec. The CCM could also store or release either the forward and/or aft cables sets for additional leverage, although the angle is going to remain relatively steep (not nearly as broad as drawn), because the 1000 km base to the 69,630 km peak is obviously an extremely steep 70:1 ratio. Shifting the mass to/from the CCM is going to afford the greater bang for the buck and, I believe there's less to go wrong.

The first significant advantage in Plan-B is, there's obviously less overall mass in motion and, secondly there's less moon based machinery involved, plus there's little if any artificially induced Vandegraph, just lots of whatever energy the natural space radiation environment might introduce, which could still be quite a lot. However, the voltage potential between the Earth gravity polarity sphere of the CM and of the moon gravity polarity of the CCM sphere might be more than we've bargained for, as not only will there be the 13,000 km worth of multiple cables offering this differential but, at either end of those cables are interfacing with either the CM or CCM and, if that's not a perfectly good definition of a rather serious space battery, then perhaps I don't know what is. We may be talking about a relatively small amount of current, though the open circuit voltage could easily reach terra volts, or perhaps there could actually be a great deal of amperage potential as well as an open circuit potential of mega if not tera volts. Wouldn't that be the kick-ass energy solution of all.

The Energiser Bunny never had it so good

A simpler space battery perspective besides the generated potential that's most likely available in between the CM and the CCM, this energy resource could become that of a dipole antenna that's utilizing the rather substantial mass of the CM itself, plus the interconnected CCM and then obviously the roughly 70,000 km worth of primary tethers to/from the lunar surface, then certainly the moon itself as being perchance Mr.Negative, while we simply deploy from the already Earth bound gravity influence of the CM, a substantially free or lightly gravity loaded tether as affording the Mr.Positive consideration, of representing the opposing antenna dipole. As doing such, we could be taping into the ultimate of cosmic charged electrolyte that'll power-up a whole lot more than a few EMPD thrusters. Instead of pulling a mere 1.5 kw as was the case with the energy surge terminated shuttle tether experiment, we should be pulling mega watts, as the surface area and length of the Earth polarity dipole (anode) element is certainly unlimited, as well is that polarity being most likely pre established by the opposing gravity issues and, certainly the moon itself should represent an adequate cathode.

Actively Thrust Stabilizing an otherwise highly dynamic lunar SE/CM

This is where I may have slipped yet another cog, by utilizing my dyslexic encryption of shorthand notations implying EMP thrusters, when I may have been intending to specify upon MPD or EMPD. According to the following page, I somehow got the impression that it's quite possible, utilizing Lithium or perhaps Xenon and the MPD or EMPD as to achieve an exhaust velocity of 40+ km/s (supposedly creating double that potential by way of using the EMPL format), along with a fairly respectful 100,000 N/m2. Though a test cell of 22 cm diameter has only obtained a thrust of 400 N/m2 from 200 KW, thus 2 MW should = 4,000 N/m2 and 25 MW should deliver 50,000 N/m2, and perhaps so on until the entire thruster array explodes.

Another thought about rocket engine fuel: instead of implementing spendy lithium and/or xenon, plus the fact that we'll have to launch and deliver such substances to the lunar SE/CM (that's contributing even more CO2 for Earth), why not just utilize that clumping moon dirt again (basalt). After all, if we're merely electrifying and thereby flinging out whatever substances in the form of atoms (somewhat exactly like a particle accelerator), might as well be using up good old moon dirt as anything, especially since the supply of such is rather unlimited.

Thrust via EMPD seems rather noteworthy;
Using such an efficient thruster is not only a worthy consideration of it's being more than sufficiently powerful but, that it offers an infinitely variable form of thrust, thereby absolutely no introduction of acceleration harmonics nor structural stress as associated with the sorts of typical re-boost that's currently utilized to maintain the required ISS speed and thereby altitude. MPD applied for high thrust; exhaust velocities of 40 km/s or more are obtained and, seemingly of relatively high thrust density, in theory offering as much as 100,000 N/m2. Energy wise, only about 15% of their input energy goes into waste heat.

Here a few other pages associated with combined high thrust of NTP and of lower thrust MPD of Interplanetary Transfer Systems Utilizing Zero-boiloff Solid Lithium Propellant.

The double Push/Push EMPL seems complex but doable:
I've recently identified another somewhat "out of this world" rocket energy propulsion scheme that seems to suggest doubling upon whatever EMP or EMPD has to offer, as well as for doubling other formats of propulsion such as ION or NTP. EMPL is equally beyond my knowledge of what's possible but, at this point, what do we have to lose?

If anyone has an alternate lead or the smarts as to estimating not only the induced voltage but also upon the amperage obtained from having several 160,000 km worth of tether/cable loops, as perhaps zipping their way to/from the lunar surface at up to 120 km/hr, while traveling their way through some horrifically irradiated space, then going around and through the CM as well as the CCM, or just of the 13,000 km differential that's situated between the CM and CCM, seems like that alone should become rather interesting reading. For all we know, this could become the motherload of all things, the holy grail of an energy resource that's infinite, as in drawing upon the BIG BANG energy reserves that should be tremendous to say the least. You'd think that waves of solar flux should be capable of powering up a great deal of whatever any large ISS or space community might need, as why bother to launch and orbit large and complex nuclear reactors when there's already terra joules surrounding your space environment.

If in fact this lunar space elevator represents the best all around solution for obtaining radiation shielding, for accommodating the NExT (1^6 m3) ISS, as well as for obtaining an unlimited resource of energy, I'll have to ask; what else is there that's in greater need of development?

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