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Space

Inflatable Tower Could Climb To the Edge of Space 296

MonkeyClicker writes with mention of a proposal that could see an inflatable tower helping to carry people to the edge of space without the need for rocket propulsion. This would function in place of previous space elevator designs which featured a large cable and could be completed much faster, if proponents of the project are to be believed. "To stay upright and withstand winds, full-scale structures would require gyroscopes and active stabilization systems in each module. The team modeled a 15-kilometer tower made up of 100 modules, each one 150 meters tall and 230 meters in diameter, built from inflatable tubes 2 meters across. Quine estimates it would weigh about 800,000 tonnes when pressurized — around twice the weight of the world's largest supertanker."

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