Orbital Ring

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One of the many orbiting facilities that might be made possible by the use of lunar materials is an orbiting ring. A massive iron ring with one portion of an electric motor on it would be encased in a tube that would be magnetically suspended from the ring and would contain the other half of the electric motor. The iron ring would circle the Earth at super orbital velocity while the tube would be stationary. Cables would hang down from the tube to the surface of the Earth at the equator and people and cargo would ascend these cables 90 miles to orbital altitude. With only 90 miles of cable necessary to get to outer space, super strong materials would not be needed. Ordinary carbon fiber reinforced plastic would do. A truss work connected to the tube would distribute the force evenly over the circumference of the ring. The tube would incorporate electromagnetic launching facilities to send passengers and cargo into the solar system. This sort of device could provide truly large scale transportation off planet for reasonable prices per pound. Among the difficulties and problems with this concept is the large scale market which would be required before there could be any hope of economic operation and the possibility of catastrophic failure.

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