Teaching Physics with the Physics Suite

Edward F. Redish

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The satellite tower

One suggestion for putting satellites into orbit cheaply without using rockets is to build a tower 300 km high containing an elevator. One would put the payload in the elevator, lift it to the top, and just step out into orbit. Ignoring other problems (such as structural strain on the tower), estimate the weight of such a tower if its base were the size of Washington DC and it were made of steel. (Steel is about 5 times as dense as water, which has a density of 1 gm/cm3.)

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Page last modified October 15, 2002: G21