The goal would be to fuel a valuable trade in materials found on the Satellite. An elevator to the Moon?
There are several ambitious projects aimed at our satellite, but perhaps no one had ever gone so far as to hypothesize a lunar elevator, which for the moment had remained confined to the imagination of science fiction writers and had never been put to paper by some dreamy engineer.
But perhaps it was a point we would have arrived anyway, given the trend. In fact, there's no shortage of people who want to take the Internet to the Moon. So why not send a few lucky travelers up there, too, who might be able to use the net to post space selfies directly from the site first explored by Neil Armstrong?
What's the point of a Moon elevator
Reaching the Moon with ease would have several advantages. On our satellite, in fact, there are huge amounts of neodymium for electronic devices, helium-3 for fusion power plants and more. The exploitation of such resources means numerous trips in order to bring everything to Earth and it is not excluded that the final cost of extraction and transport does not exceed the earnings potentially guaranteed by such a trade.
What is the innovative transport system Earth-Moon
Here comes to the rescue a project dated 2019, consisting of a colossal elevator that can easily move goods and people between the Earth and its satellite. It would be a cable hooked to the lunar surface that would allow a series of robotic shuttles to go back and forth carrying loads. All this for 400 thousand kilometers beyond the orbit and through the vacuum of space, in practice the distance between the Earth and the Moon.
According to Zephyr Penoyre and Emily Sandford, two doctoral students in astronomy at Columbia University, authors of the study, the obstacles would be mainly economic: to realize the project would need a few billion U.S. dollars.
The cable should be very thin indeed, the thickness of a pencil, and should weigh a total of 40 tons. As for the material, the two PhD students would have thought of Kevlar, which is very strong. According to the calculations of those who had the idea, the lunar trade would be so profitable, that the investment required to create the elevator would be recovered with just 53 trips.