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Space Mountain

Cheap entry into space and an end to the K2 controversy
(+2, -2)
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The Indian government is in competition with the Chinese across a wide range of topics, now including space travel.

Mine the Himalayas and build a mountain (using Everest as a starting point) that reaches into the sky.

This will not only dwarf the Three Gorges Dam in scale and ambition, it may also be in time to claim the X-Prize.

theircompetitor, Mar 19 2004

Elevator to Space http://www.halfbake...evator_20to_20Space
More intelligent discussion on the same idea. [kropotkin, Oct 04 2004]

How tall? http://www.vacets.org/tc/tc51.html
Maximum possible height of mountain on earth is about 10 km (6 miles) [kropotkin, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]

Google: space ramp http://www.google.c...fe=off&q=space+ramp
[waugsqueke, Oct 04 2004]


       // Mine the Himalayas //   

       Without being all horribly PC, new-age or green, or whatever, aren't you advocating ecological vandalism?   

       sp: dam
saker, Mar 19 2004

       We've done this one before. The problem with it is that the volume of dirt needed to raise the mountain one foot increases with every foot that you add. (I forget if it's cubic or exponential, but you run out of rubble pretty quickly.)   

       There is a scheme, somewhere in the so-called real world, to build a launch ramp up the side of a mountain. But in the end, it doesn't offer significant advantages over launching without rails.
DrCurry, Mar 19 2004

       you'll run out of rubble mining the rest of the Himalayas? Seems unlikely.
theircompetitor, Mar 19 2004

       what's the point?
jonthegeologist, Mar 19 2004

       To reach into space you'd need a mountain something like 100 km high; this is about 10 times higher than Everest. However so big a mountain couldn't survive: pressure at the bottom would be so great as to liquify rocks, and the mountain would thereby fall down. In other words, a space tower cannot be built out of rock. (link)
kropotkin, Mar 19 2004

       I thought the Himalayas were pretty solid not rubble, Barney!
po, Mar 19 2004

       Escalator to space?
FarmerJohn, Mar 19 2004

yabba do yabba dabba, Mar 19 2004

       *inserts obligitory "Stairway To Heaven" reference here*
GenYus, Mar 19 2004

       a conical pile of rocks that big would take tremendous amounts of raw material, so yes, you would run out of rubble mining the rest of the himalayas.
Freefall, Mar 19 2004

       The space ramp concept is pretty thoroughly halfbaked here and discussed elsewhere, as googly link indicates.
waugsqueke, Mar 19 2004

       K2 might make a good fulcrum for a space catapult.
Laughs Last, Mar 19 2004

       Might also really put our orbit into a lopsided limp.
RayfordSteele, Mar 20 2004

       Orbit should be unchanged, as we are not applying force to the planet, nor ejecting any mass. We will just be moving a huge amount of it. Our center of gravity will move, but very slowly (this will be a government project, right?) so I think that even though the center of rotation will move a little toward K2, the rotational period might be unchanged as well.   

       Of course, tidal effects from our new appendage might render my guess totally wrong.
gardnertoo, Oct 08 2005

       //increases with every foot that you add. (I forget if it's cubic or exponential, but you run out of rubble pretty quickly.)//   

       I just had a fun 10 minutes playing with dH's and dr's -> remembering how much I've forgotten about differential calculus. Thanks for reminding me how inadequate I am.   

       A simple dimensional analysis reveals that it's a cubic relationship, given a fixed height/radius ratio (ie constant slope angle). Treating the slope as a ratio = dH/dR makes it a lot easier to deal with.
Custardguts, Feb 04 2009

       It took you 5 years to work that out?
marklar, Sep 09 2009

       It took you seven months to read it?
coprocephalous, Sep 09 2009

       well, on Mars there are much higher mountains then on earth beeing of volcanic origin   

       So if you are willing to risk that mankind dies out I could offer a way to get you a much higher mountain :-)
gutemine, Sep 10 2010

       well I promised not to post until midnight, but I was more thinking about initiating a vulcano eruption on earth which would create also such a big volcano (at least we then would not need to do the shoveling).   

       But it would be hard to find somebody willing to host the show :-)   

       But yes, Martian gravity is also less then 40% from earth, so it is easier for their mountains too ;-)
gutemine, Sep 10 2010

       // it would be hard to find somebody willing to host the show :-)//   

       We have this place called Slough....
MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 10 2010


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