Visions of the future of human exploration of the universe. Since the birth of human beings, we have been full of strong curiosity and desire to explore the vast and ethereal starry sky. Early humans’ understanding of the universe was reflected in their blind worship of mysterious and unknown things. Nowadays, with the continuous development of human civilization and technology, humans are also continuing to theoretically launch the mysterious universe. Let’s take a look at Scientists’ bold and surprising ideas about the future universe.
The space elevator connecting the earth and the universe
If we build a space elevator that connects geostationary satellites to the surface of the earth, then we can visit geostationary satellites without using rockets. Wouldn’t it be possible to repair satellites and travel around the universe as we please? This idea was proposed by former Soviet engineer Yuli Artutanov in the 1950s. This idea appears frequently in later science fiction.
Theoretically speaking, the space elevator is not a miracle. A platform is built on the sea surface of the earth’s equator, a 100,000-kilometer-long cable is lowered from a geostationary satellite, and it is anchored on the platform to rotate synchronously with the earth. The centrifugal force generated by the rotation just offsets the earth’s gravity, and it gets an outward tension, so the space elevator is upright, just like you are swinging a rope with a ball tied to one end above your head. A lift powered by a laser or field then moves up and down the cable, transporting passengers or cargo.
Like public transportation on Earth, the trains in the space elevator will also be set up to run in both directions, and “platforms” will be installed at appropriate heights to facilitate the entry and exit of passengers and cargo. These platforms are actually space stations fixed on the space elevator. Their weight, including the load of the train and even the driving position, should be taken into consideration in the initial design, which is related to the balance of the space elevator. If the balance is lost, the huge pulling force will be difficult to offset by the strength of the space elevator itself. In fact, even in a completely balanced state, according to calculations, there is currently no material that can meet the tensile strength of a space elevator. This is another technical problem faced by the concept of a space elevator. According to current materials, the only material that can theoretically meet the tensile strength of a space elevator is the carbon nanotube discovered at the end of the last century, because its material is many times harder than steel.