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SPACE travel could one day be as easy as getting in a lift thanks to a new proposal.
A team of scientists have been working on a concept called Spaceline, which is essentially a type of ‘space elevator’ intended to link Earth and the Moon.
The design is so ground-breaking because it could drastically cut the cost of space travel by harnessing solar power instead.
Researchers at Columbia University and Cambridge University published their concept in the preprint server ArXiv.
The Spaceline would be attached to the surface of the Moon and dangle down the Earth’s orbit.
All astronauts would have to do is fly their rocket into the Spaceline, attach to a solar-powered shuttle and sit back whilst they’re dragged up to the Moon.
The researchers think that this elevator could be made with materials that exist today.
It also relies heavily on the vacuum free gravity of Space, which would make the rocket being pulled up by a solar-powered contraption so much easier.
This is also a reason why the entrance to the elevator would have to start in the Earth’s orbit.
The scientists think that the Earth’s strong gravitational pull and rotation speed would snap the elevator cable if it was directly attached.
Carbon nanotubes are the desired material for the design but right now they cannot be built to a large scale.
However, the researchers have proposed other materials that might be strong enough for the task.
They think that the elevator should be cable shaped and extremely narrow at either end so it won’t snap.
Issues with space debris colliding with the space elevator would still need to be overcome.
In other space news, SpaceX’s Starhopper rocket shaped like R2-D2 has soared to its highest altitude yet in a dramatic test flight.
Nasa’s chief wants Pluto to be classified as a planet again.
And, an Earth-sized rocky planet has been found orbiting a nearby star – and there is a chance it could be habitable.
Would you take a lift to the Moon? Let us know in the comments!
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