is it possible to tie a string from what we can orbit like the ISS and anchor it to a spot on Earth's ground?

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  • 1 month ago

    No, because it isn't in geostationary orbit.  If it stayed in the same place it would fall out of the sky.

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  • 1 month ago

    The ISS is moving around the earth every 90 minutes in its orbit. If it was much higher, in a 24 hour geosynchronous orbit, you could tie a string to it and to the earth. 

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  • JASON
    Lv 5
    1 month ago

    They have talked about a lift that goes up to a space craft that orbits at a geostationary point above the earth's surface, that they'd use to carry things up by. I remember seeing a competition to design a small self driven robot that could achieve this quite a number of years back. I think there was a fortune in prize money being offered. What ever happened to that?

    I just looked it up. It was won in 2009. That's it, it was to be powered by a laser that was aimed at it. They won $900,000.

  • jehen
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    No.  But there is an orbit, some 35,786km high.  Anything orbiting the equator at that altitude, in the same direction as the spin of the earth is geostationary.  It's as if a tether anchored the satellite to a spot on the ground.  

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  • 1 month ago

    In theory yes. It’s a materials science problem. The longer a tether, the more it weighs. There is no known material (yet) that could even support it’s own weight if 200 miles long. If a sufficiently strong-and-light material is discovered, then yes it can be done. And people are working on it, so watch this space.

    • Alexander
      Lv 7
      1 month agoReport

      Weight diminishes as you approach orbital altitude due to centriuigal force.

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  • 1 month ago

    Nope.

    No material is strong enough. You are talking about a satellite in geosynchronous orbit. That is at an altitude of 22,000 miles. Can you imagine (or calculate) how strong a material would need to be to support something 22,000 miles long and vertical?

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  • 1 month ago

    Theoretically yes.  but in reality no. Earth is rotating over 1000 miles an hour at the equator while the ISS is revolving around Earth in an highly inclined orbit at 17,500miles an hour in 90 to 92 minutes with Earth rotating underneath it.. Any string will eventually break when **** tensile strength, torque limits and stress and strain limits. No string has infinite elasticity. 

    The ISS is NOT in a geosynchronous OR geostationary orbit. The ISS is in a low Earth orbit 240 to 250 miles high nowhere near 22,300 miles high. 

    A space elevator is almost totally UNRELATED to the REAL  answer to this question. 

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  • 1 month ago

    That’s the idea behind a ‘space elevator’... you tie a line from the Earth’s surface to a ‘counterweight’ that’s out beyond geo-synchronous orbit;  and - like circling a bucket of water fast enough that the water never comes out - the line stays taut, and you send ‘climbers’ up to the station/counterweight. 

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  • 1 month ago

    Theoretically, yes. 

    It's the technology that prevents us from doing it. The satellite in orbit would be geosynchronous. The idea would be that the "string" could host an elevator, making it far cheaper to get into orbit for people and supplies. 

    The idea was mooted more than 50 years ago by people like Arthur C Clarke and others.

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