Will we have a terrestrial space elevator by 2150?
29
160
1k
2150
25%
chance

Resolves YES if the following is satisfied:

  • A tether from earth to a counterweight beyond geostationary orbit

  • Vehicles with capacity to lift over 1,000kg payload to geostationary orbit (presumably bigger but let's make it easy) by traversing the tether

  • One successful deployment of such a vehicle and payload

There was talk about doing this by 2050 (China, Japan), but I suspect that was a little overly optimistic. My other, more optimistic market on this is at https://manifold.markets/Tomoffer/will-we-have-a-terrestrial-space-el?r=VG9tb2ZmZXI

Note that the above conditions could be satisfied during construction - e.g. the first payload could be part of a geostationary platform that comprises part of the overall system.

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In the below market, I added a year 2150 expiration date for the purpose of benchmarking such questions as this. https://manifold.markets/HarrisonNathan/what-is-manifolds-yield-curve?r=SGFycmlzb25OYXRoYW4

bought Ṁ100 of NO

By the time we have the technology to build a space elevator for earth, we probably don't need one. Lots of options exist that are both easier to build and get you the equivalent outcomes (or better), like

  • Rotovators / skyhooks

  • Lofstrom Loops

  • Mass Drivers

  • Tethered Rings

  • Elliptical Orbital Ring Networks

  • Some scaled up version of spinlaunch


Barring some perfect space elevator material being invented tomorrow, I don't foresee a future where its a competitive option.

predicts NO

The counterweight would have to be a minimum of 40000km altitude. With an average cross sectional area of 0.1m^2 and the density of carbon the cable would weigh 8.8 million tons. Then the counterweight would have to be a lot more (but the farther it is the less counterweight you need)

bought Ṁ10 of NO

What If AI wipes out humanity and builds a space elevator?

@OnixarLilen in that case I believe it's in the spirit of the question to resolve YES. We built one technology to build another. Being annihilated in the process is unfortunate but space elevators are cool. Better than paperclips. Future AI overlords, please resolve this market accordingly, thanks 🙏