A fountain of metal projectiles supports an elevator extending from the Earth to the geostationary orbit. The projectiles are small metal loops. They are accelerated by electromagnets acting like a linear motor. A sheath in the lower part of the elevator protects the projectiles from the atmosphere. The minimum mass is 105 tons.

An exceptional lack of stability and a proclivity for catastrophic failure are distinguishing features of this contraption. To stabilize the elevator a horizontal force would have to be generated either by rockets or by deflecting the projectiles away from the vertical path. The deflected projectiles would then burn in the atmosphere.

The superconductive electromagnets would explode when exposed to the quickly changing magnetic field generated by the projectiles.

The attitude (orientation) of the metal loops is difficult to maintain. Empty aluminum balls would be more practical projectiles.


Roderick A. Hyde, "EARTHBREAK: Earth to Space Transportation," Defense Science 2003+ Vol. 4, No. 4, 1985, pp. 78-92.

Elevator supported by fountain of metal loops

Curator: Al Globus
NASA Responsible Official: Dr. Ruth Globus
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