JACOB’S LADDER

Year 2008

“Jacob’s Ladder” Lunar Elevator 

Student Team: 
Ran Qedar, Natan Grinfeld, Georgy Bezrodny, Ortal Reuven, Alex Tatievsky 
Faculty of Aerospace Engineering, Technion – Israel Institute of Technology

Supervisor:
Dr. Alex Kogan, Asher Space Research Institute, Technion

Mission

 Our mission was to design a space elevator, including all of its sub systems:
1) The cable itself materials, deployment and wave propagation analysis.
2) Cable car riding on the cable design and analysis.
3) A return vehicle released from the cable design and re entry estimations.
All of these sub systems were combined to the idea we called Jacob s Ladder in order to provide a cheaper alternative to the currently used rocket based ways of transportation between the Earth and the Moon, thus allowing to import large amounts of He3 that can be used as a good source of energy to the planet.

 

Main parameters

Elevator: mass 1.5ton total, 4X4 bicycle type wheel system, 4 electric motors, momentum wheels & damping system for atitude control, 100sq.m. solar panels
Return Vehicle: mass 1ton, payload 0.1ton in 10 high pressure tanks, ballistic return to Earth
Tether: length 325,000 km, mass 245ton, end mass 16ton, material M5 fiber
Elevator Ride On The Tether: 200hrs @ cruising velocity 700 m/sec
Tether Placement: By mothership assymptotic trajectory to L1, cable deployment to Moon surface and anchoring the cable.

Conclusions

1) Automatic transportation of payload between Earth and Moon using solar energy is possible
2) Space elevator idea feasible on the Moon s surface nowadays, using current technology
3) At expected rate of 5 ton payload per year, payoff for 15B$ construction and deployment
cost, in 5 years