Fast transit to interplanetary destinations

Peter Swan, Michael Fitzgerald, Matthew Peet, Cathy Swan

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


The unique characteristics of Space Elevators with a rapidly moving Apex Anchor (7.76 km/sec) enable remarkable opportunities for off-planet missions. This combination of three major strengths (massive movement of mission support equipment - a tremendous opening up of launch windows - shorter travel times) will ensure constant support to missions beyond Geosynchronous altitude. The daily release of payloads towards Mars (and other interplanetary destinations) from the Apex Anchor imparts tremendous velocity with very little drag from Earth's gravity. Periodic fast transit to Mars lowers this time to 61 days. This occurs several times during the two-year orbital dance. In addition, the concept of one launch window every two years is collapsed to multiple launches every week towards Mars. Adding these two characteristics of space elevators to the routine, daily and massive movement of cargo ensures that human missions off-planet will have the supplies needed to prosper and grow. Can you imagine? 61 days to Mars several times each 26 months multiple releases per week towards destinations (no 26 month window restriction) massive movements towards interplanetary destinations every day.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalProceedings of the International Astronautical Congress, IAC
StatePublished - 2020
Event71st International Astronautical Congress, IAC 2020 - Virtual, Online
Duration: Oct 12 2020Oct 14 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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