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What if you build the rocket in space?

ALSO, if I had a 120 kilometer steel cable in space, would it be possible to use a spaceship to pull something off the earth?

@brandon "the" rocket?

If the cable is rotating on an axis parallel to the tangent plane of the Earth then you can just grab onto it and it'll carry you up into a higher orbit, at the cost of some of its rotational energy (which will have to be periodically renewed)

@brandon The spaceship will still have to account for the weight of the cable, the item and gravity. And I suppose the cable might swing and do some damage on earth. Possible, yes. Practical, no.

@brandon I think most rockets (and satellites) will be built in space eventually.

As soon as space industry gets jump started, there will be plenty of available energy and material with very little need for environmental regulation (at least in the early days), leading to an explosion of space industry.

Most of the early work will be producing more space industry, habitation, and transportation.

Did you know that the moon is mostly silicon (for solar), iron, oxygen, and aluminum?

@brandon It's actually one of NASA's plans. More Moon-based, though. Once you can build rockets or ships on the moon (using the hydrogen found there as fuel) you can start really ramping up the space program. Lower gravity and larger access to materials.

As far as the cable....

what-if.xkcd.com/157/

@jens Never really explored the concept before, was just throwing things out there :P

@brandon no, you can't build a steel cable that long. Okay you can, but the middle of the cable will not resemble a cable as much as a small state.

@brandon A feasible space elevator design has yet to be invented. If it is possible and is created, it will open a lot of technological possibilities, of which building spacecraft is a very minor one

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