Lunar space elevator ascent, artwork

Lunar space elevator ascent, artwork

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Credit: NASA/WALTER MYERS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Lunar space elevator ascent. Artwork of a future lunar space elevator ascending from its base on the Moon. It is around 50 metres long, with a central solar-powered climber mechanism (solar panels, blue) that uses caterpillar track treads to pull the spacecraft along a ribbon running from the surface to a Lagrange point. The journey takes over 3 weeks at 100 kilometres per hour over a distance of around 56,500 kilometres. The crew compartment is at the rear in this view, with cargo arrays either side of the climber mechanism. Here, it is some 5000 kilometres above the Moon, around 50 hours after leaving the surface.

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