The idea of an elevator existing to carry both supplies and people to and from space may not be relegated to science fiction books; it may become a reality. Scientists in Japan are working hard to make this work in the coming months.
Two engineers, Yoshiki Yamagiwa and Masahiro Nomi, have invented a satellite called STARS-C (Space Tethered Autonomous Robotic Satellite-Cube). They conceptualized it back in 2014 and submitted it to the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).
Of the satellites Yamagiwa said, "The satellites move not just vertically, but horizontally as well when we expand their tethers. As data must be collected in detail to control the satellite in space with precision, we hope to do it properly this time."
The team is asking for amateur radio operators to help because ham radio frequencies will be used to control and get feedback from STARS-C. And for the uninitiated who are not familiar with what space elevators are or how they work, here's a re-cap. It is basically a crane that pushes and pulls people and supplies back and forth from Earth and space. STARS-C would act as a counterweight, and the tether would be kept in place with the help of the planet's centrifugal force. Imagine the possibilities if this works. Space travel would be much cheaper and would require a lot less fuel.
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