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Pluto Charon Elevator

27 Aug 2016, 19:08 UTC
Pluto Charon Elevator
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Double Tidal LockingPluto and Charon are mutually tidally locked. That is, they both present the same face to the other planet all the time. They hover motionless in each other's sky. Pluto is in Charon synchronous orbit and Charon is in Pluto synchronous orbit.What is more, the orbit is very nearly circular.A tether could be extended from Pluto's near point to Charon's near point. Since the orbit is so nearly circular, there would very very little flexing of this tether.Minimum Tether to Remain AloftTo remain aloft, a tether anchored to Charon would need to extend past the L1 point more than 10,000 kilometers to within nearly 2,500 kilometers of Pluto's surface.This tether would be more than 15,000 kilometers long. Using Wolfe's Spreadsheet we find Zylon taper ratio is 1.13. Tether to Payload mass ratio is .88. This is with a safety factor of 3.All The Way To PlutoExtending the tether an additional 2,500 kilometers anchors it to Pluto's surface.Taper ratio is about 1.7 and Tether to Payload mass ratio is 14.36.Still acceptable but dramatically different from a tether only 2,500 shorter. This is because we dropped the tether foot into a much steeper part of Pluto's gravity well.Net acceleration is ...

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