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Space photos of the day: Visions of the future

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The 'once upon a time' science fiction concept of a space elevator has been envisioned and studied as a real mass transportation system. David Smitherman of NASA has compiled plans for such an elevator. The space elevator concept is a structure extending from the surface of the Earth to geostationary Earth orbit at 22,000 miles in altitude. The tower would be approximately 30 miles tall with a cable tethered to the top. Its center mass would be at GEO such that the entire structure orbits the Earth in sync with the Earth's rotation maintaining a stationary position over its base attachment at the equator.


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