Now a Canadian firm has been granted a patent for a ‘space elevator’ which will shoot cargo 12.4 miles into the stratosphere from where it can be launched more easily.
According to Thoth Technology, the lift would cut the cost of space flight by around one third because shuttles would not need to carry enormous amounts of fuel to get themselves off the ground.
“Astronauts would ascend to 12 miles by electrical elevator,” said Dr Brendan Quine, the inventor.
“From the top of the tower, space planes will launch in a single stage to orbit, returning to the top of the tower for refuelling and reflight.”
Rockets are incredibly inefficient because they need huge amounts of power to get off the ground, using up most of their fuel fighting against inertia and atmospheric drag.
Engineers had always believed that space elevators would be unfeasible because no material exists which could support itself at such a height - although diamond nano-threads have been suggested.
However the new design by Thoth gets around the problem by only building the elevator to 12.4 miles so that it sits in the stratosphere rather than going all the way out into geostationary orbit, where satellites fly, which is around 22,000 miles up.
Dubbed the 'ThothX Tower' it would be inflatable, made with reinforced segments and topped with a runway from which satellite payloads could be launched. It would stay upright using a complex arrangements of fly-wheels to compensate for the tower bending.
The patent suggests that either pressurised cars would run in the core of the structure – like in traditional pneumatic tube message systems, or alternatively, they could climb up the outside of the shaft like a funicular railway. Each car could carry around 10 tonnes of cargo.
According to the designers, the tower could also be used for scientific research, communications, and generate energy from high up wind turbines.
And the elevator could open up new possibilities for space tourism, bringing down the cost of flights and making travel more convenient. ..."
In laboratory tests, two sweetgrass compounds drove mosquitoes away from tantalising fake blood samples, just as well as the widely-used repellent Deet.
Further tests are needed to see how long the effects last.
The researchers say folk remedies are a rich source of possible new repellents.
"This is the fourth plant that we've investigated in this manner," said Charles Cantrell, a research chemist who works for the US Department of Agriculture.
"The neat thing about this one is that it produces a compound, coumarin, which has a great odour and was known... to have some repelling properties. And it's very safe."
Dr Cantrell was speaking in Boston at the 250th national meeting of the American Chemical Society.
"There's an interesting story about coumarin," he told journalists at the conference.
"Back in the 90s, Avon 'Skin So Soft' had a product that people discovered actually worked well as an insect repellent. It wasn't marketed as an insect repellent, but the effectiveness was well-known among consumers.
(Scientists did an investigation and one of the constituents in Skin So Soft was coumarin - which we've now isolated from sweetgrass)."
By Hannah Kent
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/iceland.html#Re3OeYkGSXmZSjqD.99
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Amazing Iceland — drone footage (4K)
Wonderful Chill Out Music - Iceland [HD]
DJI Phantom Vision 2 Plus - Iceland Footage!
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