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Liftport - The Space Elevator: Opening Space to Everyone Paperback – June 7, 2006


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New Adult Fiction by Rainbow Rowell
Acclaimed author Rainbow Rowell's latest book, Landline, offers a poignant, humorous look at relationships and marriage. Learn more

Product Details

  • Paperback: 350 pages
  • Publisher: Meisha Merlin Publishing, Inc. (June 7, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1592221092
  • ISBN-13: 978-1592221097
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.5 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,049,630 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Arthur P. Smith on July 22, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This collection of fact and fiction centers on the proposal by a startup company, Liftport, to create a new way to get into space: an elevator. The idea is not new, and the specific means they propose to do it has been discussed in technical papers; nevertheless this is likely the first popularly accessible book that describes the new near-term practicalities of construction, operation, and business for such a system. Liftport plans to get their first elevator up and running before 2020, and this book describes how they may just be able to do that.

The format of the book is a collection of independent essays (the factual portions) and stories, some of which are reprinted from separate novels (by Arthur C. Clarke, David Brin, and Charles Sheffield) and the rest seem to have been specifically written for this collection. The quality of the fiction is rather variable; unfortunately some of the authors would perhaps have benefited from reading the technical sections, as some details are rather jarringly wrong. For example, the "Hermit of the Skies" would not plummet and burn up from the top station, but would be thrown out away from the planet - that's sort of the whole point. In "High Space", you can't be in orbit 300 miles above Earth's surface and stay over one spot - you have to be going a lot slower than orbital speeds. And the troposphere is the lowermost portion of Earth's atmosphere, not what you would hit first on the way down! But of course the technical details aren't the central point of the stories, so maybe it's silly to be picky about it.

The longest fiction section, "The Rings of Earth", by William H. Keith, is among the best of the contributed stories.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Laughing John on June 27, 2006
Format: Paperback
I have no science degree and spend little time pondering space elevators, but the subject is interesting and this book is well organized. Different authors took specific topics and created one or two chapters each. Famous sames such as Kim Stanley Robinson contributed. I received this as a present prior to a week at the beach and enjoyed the book more than expected, flipping to chapters that interested me and skipping others.

By coincidence, I visited the Wright Brothers' museum near Kitty Hawk while on vacation. It is striking how rapidly air travel developed from the "cranks and weirdos" stage around 1900 to a substantive business. I do not know if the analogy translates, but you never know.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Lindsey A. Hoert on June 24, 2007
Format: Paperback
I love this book. I'm interested in space projects and science fiction. This was a great combination of fact and fiction. Both informative and entertaining. It's great for the laymen. You don't need to know much about space technology to understand and enjoy this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Harold F. Weber, Jr. on March 29, 2007
Format: Paperback
A terrific overview of the various steps needed to build the space elevator. Can't wait to see it happen. Hope it's soon.
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