Direct link to scholarships offered by  Govt. of India

List of Private NGOs offering scholarships

Abu Marwan Abdal Malik Ibn Zuhr: ‘Avenzoar’

Abu Marwan Abdal Malik Ibn Zuhr, known in the west as Avenzoar, was

Ummid Assistant

Gandhi Fellowship for Nation Building

Welcome Guest! You are here: Home » Science & Technology

An escalator to space - not very far away

Sunday January 09, 2011 04:50:06 PM, V. Jagannathan, IANS

Chennai: The day may not be far away when an elevator attendant asks your preferred destination - low earth orbit (LEO) or geostationary orbit (GSO). Research is fast progressing in advanced countries on designing a space elevator, according to an Indian space expert.

"Space scientists and engineers are looking at the possibility of designing an elevator to travel into space. It is also time that Indian research institutions looked at developing carbon nanotube composite fibre, nano epoxy and laser power beaming," A. Senthil Kumar, deputy head at the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), told IANS in an interview.

VSSC is part of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). Kumar, who addressed the 98th Indian Science Congress that concluded Friday, said: "The space elevator consists of a cable from an anchor in the ground to a counter weight located beyond geostationary orbit (GSO) that is 35,786 km away. A climber will move up on a carbon nanotube tether between earth and space."

The space lift would be utilised as a transportation and utility system for moving people, satellites and other items from earth to space.

According to Kumar, once the infrastructure comes into position, the cost of carrying anything from earth to the GSO will be reduced to less than $250 per kg from the current $40,000 per kg.

"The elevator can travel at 200 km per hour and reach the GSO in eight days," Kumar said.

He said 94 percent weight of the conventional rockets consists of fuel and other expendable infrastructure.

"What space agencies are looking at is safe access to the space at low cost," Kumar said.

He said a tall building on earth could be the anchor, from which a tether made of carbon nanotube composite fabric would extend to about 50,000 km towards the heaven.

"A climber/elevator powered by laser beaming of energy can travel over this tether. The payloads can be transported using these climbers to different orbits," Kumar said.

Speaking about the rope on which the climber would go up, the scientist said theoretically the carbon nanotube has a tensile strength of 300 gigapascal whereas the required strength for space travel is only 130 gigapascal.

The carbon nano fibres currently developed has tensile up to five gigapascal.

"The cable will be thickest at the top and taper down towards the earth. First a satellite will take the cable to the space wherefrom it will be unrolled towards the earth. The cable could be brought down without much movement and tied to the base station," Kumar explained.

And the challenges?

"Radiation, lightning, wind, meteors, space debris...but these are issues that can be dealt with," Kumar said.

(Venkatachari Jagannathan can be contacted at






  Bookmark and Share                                          Home | Top of the Page


Note: By posting your comments here you agree to the terms and conditions of

Comments powered by DISQUS

More Headlines

India forced to play Rafi in Asian Cup opener

Conquer Raigad Fort - in five minutes!

Overseas Indian doctors ready to help India

New age art celebrates 50 years of the pill

Four schoolboys kill friend for not buying them cigarettes

Dubai to host six international expos in January

2G Tele Spectrum Auction: Prashan Bhushan attacks Sibal

India asks Gulf countries to end sponsorship regime

Academic innovations need to be brought to market place: Sibal

Iran police confirm arrest of US woman spy suspect

Professor removes Muslim student's veil, arrested

Modern art in Kashmir reflects contemporary realities

Telangana protesters lay siege to ministers, MPs' houses

Punjab traders resume vegetable export to Pakistan




Top Stories

Maha Minority Commission recommends withdrawal of cases against Muslim youth

Following the confessional statement of Swami Aseemanand published by Tehelka in its latest  »

'Withdraw cases against Muslim youth detained in Malegaon blast'

Aseemanand confesses his involvement in 2006 Malegaon blast: Report

A prelude to Malegaon bomb blasts

An Inside Narrative of Nanded Blast

Malegaon Blasts: Partisan approach and biased police

Malegaon 2006 blast witness turns hostile

Was Malegaon Blast really a handiwork of Muslims?


Picture of the Day

Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh addressing the Infosys awards 2010 presentation ceremony, in Mumbai on January 06, 2011.

(Photo: B M Meena)


  Most Read

NRIs on electoral rolls soon, single card for diaspora: PM

India will merge the two visa facilitation cards that are issued to people of Indian origin and soon register non-resident Indians in the electoral rolls to help them exercise  »

Telangana protesters lay siege to ministers, MPs' houses

Protests continued in Telangana for the third consecutive day Friday with protesters laying siege to the houses of state ministers, MPs and state legislators of ruling Congress and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) to demand their resignations. Leaders and activists of Telangana Rashtra Samiti  »


  News Pick

Homeless man with golden voice becomes new US hero

The US has a new rags-to-riches hero - a homeless man who has been inundated with job offers after a video of him went viral this week. Even by the warp-speed standards of the internet age, the transformation of     »

Modern art in Kashmir reflects contemporary realities

The modern art movement in Jammu and Kashmir is once again on the move after a period of stagnation during the years of insurgency. The new artistic interpretations emerging from the troubled state speak of contemporary social   »

Agatha Sangma, family escape mob fury in riot-hit Assam areas

Minister of State for Rural Development Agatha K. Sangma, her brother and Meghalaya's Leader Of Opposition Conrad K. Sangma and their father and former Lok Sabha speaker Purno A. Sangma Friday had a narrow escape  »

Kerala's 50,000 teachers to get discounted laptops

As many as 50,000 teachers in Kerala will soon be able to buy either a laptop or a netbook computer at a discounted price, according to an official. The scheme has been initiated by IT@School, the technology   »

Sibal says $40 bn spectrum loss estimate 'utterly erroneous'

Communications Minister Kapil Sibal Friday said the methodology adopted by the official auditor was "utterly erroneous" while arriving at the   »



RSS  |  Contact us

| Quick links



Subscribe to

Ummid Assistant






About us




Government Schemes











Contact us





      Disclaimer | Terms of Use | Advertise with us | Link Exchange is part of the Awaz Multimedia & Publications providing World News, News Analysis and Feature Articles on Education, Health. Politics, Technology, Sports, Entertainment, Industry etc. The articles or the views displayed on this website are for public information and in no way describe the editorial views. The users are entitled to use this site subject to the terms and conditions mentioned.

© 2010 Awaz Multimedia & Publications. All rights reserved.