Scientists have proposed an idea that looks a bit weird, and definitely out of some science fiction books – the possibility to create an elevator to the Moon. Apparently, researchers have been studying how to make this crazy idea become a reality for many years.
Now, a couple of astronauts from the University of Cambridge and the University of Columbia came forward with what they say to be a possible alternative.
In a yet unpublished study, the two suggest that materials such as Zylon, a polymer carbon, could enable humans to design a tower or cable that would reach the lunar surface from Earth’s geostationary orbit. This means the building will not be anchored directly to the Earth.
The two astronomers explained that the structure would be at a risk-free distance from our planet, approximately 362,000 kilometers from the Moon, to prevent contact with satellites.
The idea of an elevator to the Moon goes one step forward
The ride to the Moon would imply launching at the right height, clocking with the end of the space cable, utilizing solar propulsion to travel along the cable to Lagrange points, and slowing down to reach the Moon’s orbit.
As per the astronomers’ measurements, it would be feasible to design such a structure using current technologies. Information in their study implies that the cable could be as thick as pencil lead and stuck on the Moon with a budged evaluated at billions of dollars.
Bernard Foing, the executive director of the International Lunar Exploration Working Group at the European Space Agency, explained to Business Insider that the idea is incredibly complex. When it comes to executing such a vast project, a technical plan is still extremely untimely, even if it is a great idea, Foing explained.
He added saying that such a long cable would present significant issues for its balance, and also safety problems for other spacecraft, for instance, satellites, that could collide with the elevator to the Moon.