Would a space elevator theoretically be possible if the top would be in q geo-stationary orbit? It would always stay in the same place.


Ofc it would just collapse and everything but just in theory if we figured out how to bot make it collapse

In: Physics

That’s actually one of the required pieces of a space elevator – the top “anchor” point is a counterweight that stays in geostationary orbit, and then the cable doesn’t need to support any weight – it just needs to not snap.

Space elevator is scientifically possible, but we do not have materials that can take the weight/tension of it right now. Steel chain would rip itself apart under its own weight. We also don’t have a way to “lift” that kind of weight into orbit (so we can then “unroll” it).

Geostationary orbit is the point where the orbital period equals the rotation rate of the planet. This is not necessarily the balancing point where gravity and centripetal force cancel each other out. To calculate that, you have to know the mass of the object at the end of the tether. The heavier the object, the stronger the force pulling on the tether. The stronger the forest pulling on the tether, the more weight you can lift up the tether, and therefore, the more mass you can take into orbit at a time.

Having the top of your elevator peak at geostationary orbit means that the average mass will be below geostationary orbit. Your tether would collapse and wrap around the planet. Geostationary orbit is a little more than 35,000 km, and the circumference of the planet is around 24,000 km, so your tether would wrap around the planet slightly more than one complete turn. Far more likely, the tether would be destroyed and rain down in pieces.