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Physics question for JIM

 
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Maracus
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Joined: 13 Aug 2002
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 7:18 am    Post subject: Physics question for JIM Reply with quote

I had a long conversation about space elevators with a friend of mind, and it came down to us agreeing we needed to find someone who actually had an idea how the physics might work. I recommended a brilliant physicist that I knew from online. That's you JIM.

The conditions are, starting with a conglomeration of asteroids in orbit containing the necessary materials, place it in a Geo-syncronous orbit and then start building the elevator from the top down.

The question is, as the elevator started descending into the gravity well would the asteroid start being pulled down behind it?
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Max
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Joined: 30 Apr 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2012 5:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi,

haven't hear from Jim in a while, but i can actually help you with your question.

Position in orbit depends only on your speed.

Such a manoever would just strain whatever was holding the two together, presumably severing the link. It might tear a chunk of ore at the point it was tied down, but wouldn't affect the asteroid's orbit.

If you want to lower the asteroid deliberately you have to attach an engine to it and slow it down with that. Or use aerobraking.
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Maracus
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 29, 2013 5:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As the mass of the asteroid in orbit supplying the material for the space ladder became lighter, would that not change the velocity of the object? The center of gravity would also change as you constructed the line down to the ground, and at different altitudes you'd have a different amount of gravity acting on the line wouldn't you?
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