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Simulation and Engineering Software
One can simulate the design and operation of a space elevtor in software to an arbitrary degree, down to the atom where necessary such as the ribbon.
There are many models one could improve:
- Make climber more realistic, using data from commercial parts
- Simulating the deployment and operation
- Improving model for the station at GEO
- Designing ships deployed from GEO to send cargo and people to Mars
- Modeling SE climbers for humans rather than just cargo
- Creating a luxurious Mars and moon colony. What can you do for $10/pound?
Just think how many places a spreadsheet cost calculator must go to come up with a "final" number! Spreadsheets get very cool when you start to combine the data from various pieces together. Every separate spreadsheet is a locked up silo of information, unless it is linking to other ones. We have 16 spreadsheets in our archives already.
Some available spreadsheets:
- File:Energy worksht.ods
- File:Cable worksheet.ods
- File:Off-Equator Cable.ods
- File:Length Vs Climbers.ods
Additional spreadsheets available in the archive require cleaning
- File:Climber mass.ods
- File:E&S Orbit.ods
- File:Deployment Mass Calcs New.ods
- File:Climber Number.ods
- File:Climber Mass.ods
- File:Angular Momentum New.ods
Where possible, free software and formats will be used to make it easy for someone interested to contribute.
Blender is the Ferrari of 3-D graphics packages. Is extremely powerful, has a huge community, has physics simulation capabilities built in and supports Collada.
Feature list: http://www.blender.org/features-gallery/features/
Gallery of pretty pictures: http://www.blender.org/features-gallery/gallery/art-gallery/
Online Manual TOC: http://wiki.blender.org/index.php/Manual
Complete Tutorial: 
UI Intro: 
Various tutorials: 
Finite Element Analysis
A full set of Python-based scientific libraries: http://scipy.org/
Other Python software for science and engineering: http://www.scipy.org/Topical_Software
It is recommended to use Python for scientific research.
NASA's free code: http://opensource.arc.nasa.gov/