A Beanstalk is also known as a Space elevator, Orbital elevator, or Orbital beanstalk. It is a macro-engineering project involving an ultra-strong ribbon cable extending from the surface to geostationary orbit, with a second cable extending several thousand km beyond to form a counter-balance. The entire structure is under tension, balanced between the gravity from the lower end and centrifugal force at the upper end.
Driving up and down the cable are elevator cars, carrying passengers and cargo. At the balance point an orbital station is constructed for space access to the passengers and cargo.
Not every world is capable of supporting a beanstalk. Worlds with more than 1G surface gravity are too massive for the cables to be supported correctly. Tide locked worlds, or worlds with too long or too short of a rotational period make construction of a beanstalk a larger engineering challenge.
Beanstalks are considered as the cheapest manner of access to space prior to the perfection of Gravity control technology.
History and background
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Worlds and sectors
World Listing: 1116
References and contributors
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