# Space Elevators?

The other day I came across an idea that seemed unreal, a tourist attraction only for the elite members of society, an elevator into space. The concept is actually quite simple, and would make tourism into space much cheaper and easier.

The idea uses a counterweight, or station, in space with a suspended cable anchored to a mobile point on earth's surface. Gravity would be pulling the cart down, as the coriolis effect, or force, pushes the cart horizontally, tilting the cable, as shown in the diagram below:

Some of the math explaining the gravitational forces is more complex though, however. An upward centrifugial force acts against earth's gravitational pull downward, dependent on the height of the object.

The apparent gravitational field can be represented this way: The downward force of actual gravity *decreases* with height: The upward centrifugial force due to the planet's rotation *increases* with height: Together, the apparent gravitational field is the sum of the two:

where *g* is the acceleration of *actual* gravity or *apparent* gravity down (negative) or up (positive) along the vertical cable (m s^{−2}), *a* is the centrifugal acceleration up (positive) along the vertical cable (m s^{−2}), *G* is the gravitational constant (m^{3} s^{−2} kg^{−1}) *M* is the mass of the Earth (kg) *r* is the distance from that point to Earth's center (m), *ω* is Earth's rotation speed (radian/s).

(From Wikipedia given sources).

Building an elevator into space would take unprecidented manpower and spending, however a completed project would begin a new era in human exploration and tourism, opening a previously unknown to civilian frontier.

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