The core of the Space Elevator is the physical connection between Earth and space. In our baseline design this connection is in the form of a ribbon though earlier designs discussed a round cable.
The primary technical challenge to building the Space elevator has always been the availability of material with sufficient strength. The availability and strength of this material drives all aspects of the space elevator.
|Small scale design||Spun thread|
These images show the proposed basic design though not completely to scale. Many small axial, load-bearing fibers are held in a ribbon configuration by orthogonal epoxy, adhesive tape or woven interconnects. increasing the size of the ribbon is accomplished by splicing additional ribbons to the sides or face of the initial ribbon.
Discussions on the ribbon can be found [Cable_write_up.odt here] and the basic spreadsheet for cable calculations for different planets, lift capabilities, lengths, etc. can be found in this [Cable_worksheet.ods worksheet] These again are in OpenOffice format.
Insert Sketchup graphic and related Sketchup file http://sketchup.google.com/3dwarehouse/details?mid=bd063afd8c6594bb86852bf1a7913ebc&prevstart=0