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Space elevator

A type of vertical transport device that efficiently moves people or goods from the Earth's surface directly into space or orbit without using large rockets. The space elevator is able to carry passengers skyward at about 124 mph (200 kph), transporting them to a station 22,000 miles (36,000 kilometers) above Earth in a little more than a week. The destination station houses living quarters and laboratory space, along with a solar-power generation facility capable of transmitting power to the ground.

The space elevator uses an ultra light yet strong cable made from carbon nanotubes that is stretched from a spaceport on Earth's surface up to an altitude of 60,000 miles (96,000 km), or about one-quarter of the distance between our planet and the moon. A counterweight at its end helps to anchor the cable in space. 30-passengers can travel together in the elevator along the cable which is propelled by magnetic linear motors.

Compared to rockets, space elevators offer a much less expensive alternative for sending people and goods into space.

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  • Part of Speech: noun
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  • Blossary:
  • Industry/Domain: Aerospace
  • Category: Space flight
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