1. I have been running over this question in my mind now for quite some time and I just can not come up with an answer. Here it is....

Lets say we have come up with a way to manufacture something close to the strength and weight of spider silk and we put 35,800 kilometers of the stuff on a spaceship and flew the spaceship into geostationary orbit around the Earth. Once arriving in orbit we start to let out the spider silk in the direction of the Earth.

Will the silk string ever reach the ground?

What happens when the silk string starts to interface with the Earts atmosphere?

Would the string extend in a straight line all the way to the Earth or would it become electrically charged and bend into the shape of the earths mangetic field?

What would happen to the spaceship?

2.

3. More than likely as you will be releasing the slik string in micro-gravity, nothing will happen, if anything it too will orbit the earth.

4. So what if you attached a weight to the end of the string and gave it a little momentum towards earth?

5. your basics are in the *space elevator* theory. nano tubes the silk.
according to this, yes it would reach the earth. since you would still be in a form of atmosphere, no charge should take place and the silk or tubes be straight. as i understand it...

6. Don't forget that 3200 millions tons (or whatever) of silk will pull your little spaceship down to earth though!

7. Originally Posted by Megabrain
Don't forget that 3200 millions tons (or whatever) of silk will pull your little spaceship down to earth though!
I should imagine that if the weight at the end of the silk has touched the ground, centrifugal force would counter gravitational pull, the space ship should stay where it is.

8. Originally Posted by leohopkins
Originally Posted by Megabrain
Don't forget that 3200 millions tons (or whatever) of silk will pull your little spaceship down to earth though!
I should imagine that if the weight at the end of the silk has touched the ground, centrifugal force would counter gravitational pull, the space ship should stay where it is.
I'm on the ground, and the centrifugl effect does not make me weightless, it will pull, and it will 'weigh' - no question about it. At the geostat point mass is far enough away from the earth to experience much less gravity, so the first few miles will be 'weightless' any string that is not at the geostat distance will be pulled by the earth.

9. Okay makes sense, but why are people banging on about creating nanotubes then ?

10. It will stay stable if the center of mass for the entire system is at a geostationary orbit, but you will need some large mass on the space end of the string that's a bit past the point of geostationary orbit to counter-balance the large mass of the string that's hanging down below the point of geostationary orbit.

Note: you will need a crazy-strong string.

11. Probably about as strong as the noose my wife has around my bank account then.

12. there is no gravitational force at this location for the silk to reach earth. the satellite remains there due to the forces of thrusters and motors.

13. Originally Posted by weknowtheword
there is no gravitational force at this location for the silk to reach earth. the satellite remains there due to the forces of thrusters and motors.
It's gonna use a lot of fuel then, even TV satellites get blown about by the solar wind, solar & lunar gravitational pulls and constantly correct their positions, without holding up 'jacob's ladder'.

14. I'm skeptical that they'll ever make a string that strong, but one can hope. The anchor would have to actually be further out than a normal geostationary orbit to give it extra centrifugal force to hold up the string.

If it had a retractible solar sail, I imagine it could unfurl it when it's headed away from the sun, then retract it when it's headed toward the sun, and that way the solar wind would actually help instead of hurt.

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