Space elevator, K. Tsiolkovsky, B. Edwards: what do the three have in common?
Soviet rocket scientist Konstantin Eduardovich Tsiolkovsky is considered the father of human space flight. He was also the one to conceive the idea of Space elevator one hundred years ago. Half a century afterward, another Russian scientist Yuri Artsutanov provided all required technical aspects for the idea to be put into work. Today, American scientist Bradley Edwards is awarded a prize (more than half a million dollars) for the invention.
Nowadays, a rather simple cabin intended to transport people to space seems to cause major controversy. Apparently, few are aware that Konstantin Tsiolkovsky was the one to come up with the idea back in 1894. In his famous work “Dreams of the Earth and the Sky” he mentioned the idea of the cosmic lift for the first time. A bit more than sixty years have passed and another Russian scientist Yuri Artsutanov (at the time, he was a post-graduate student of Leningradsky Technical Institute) in a Sunday’s supplemental issue to the “Komsomolskaya Pravda” newspaper, provided all the necessary technical calculations for the idea to be put to work.
Space elevator in itself is a space station situated on or above the geocentric orbit and attached to the Earth by means of a strong cable. The system is devised in such a way that its center of gravity is located above the geocentric orbit. Since the Earth rotates, centrifugal force tightens the cable, similar to a stone tightening a sling, even if it is a child holding the sling. In other words, it is of utmost importance to create such strong cable in the first place. The stuff that will be carried by it appears secondary. Artsutanov suggested the idea of a power train attached to the cable to transport space tourists to and fro the space station. In fact, the idea is so simple, it seems almost unreal. Endless disputes have been evolving around it for the longest time. However, not so long ago, scientific world was quite shocked to learn that an American by the name of Bradley Edwards had been awarded a prize for the idea of space elevator.
How could this happen? Did Mr. Edwards make some significant changes/additions to the idea that had been devised by the Russian scientists? As it turns out, director of one of NASA’s research centers: NASA Institute of Advance Concepts (NIAC) someone by the name of R. Cassanova has been the one to decide to award Mr. Edwards the prize.
Mr. Cassanova is a well-known man within the scientific world. He is mostly known for his multimillion dollar machinations involving taxpayer’s money, which had been initially planned to cover space research. PRAVDA.Ru has already reported Mr. Cassanova’s “financial” approach to scientific discoveries in its article entitled “NASA Institute of Advanced Concepts (NIAC) as a front for friends.”
This time, the award appeared to be substantial – $645 000 USD! In addition, Mr. Cassanova has been awarded 30% “for his efforts.”
But perhaps, Mr. Cassanova and his accomplice conducted such major scientific research work, which had outshined hundreds of magnificent works of scientists in the field of aerospace, and what if this award is a mere excuse to thank them for their efforts in other fields of research? No. This could easily be spotted on the Internet site of the American Institute off Aeronautics and Astronautics, the main space organization entitled to register all scientific research works and conferences. According to it, Cassanova “Ph.D” has written only one (!!!) insignificant work in his life. That article has been by Cassanova and three other co-authors 30 years ago!
Are you still doubtful? Well, let me direct you to the NIAC site where you can personally see for yourself what sort of work has been awarded such high prize. And don’t be freaked out by the idea of encountering some mind-boggling scientific calculations. There aren't any! The 42-page report, half of which is mere illustrations, represents a mere explanation of the idea of the space elevator intended for elementary school pupils. It lacks the actual results.
Konstantin E. Tsiolkovsky has probably turned around in a coffin after so much attention to his persona and his protйgй. This, however, is not the first award of Cassanova's. Perhaps, not the last either. In the meantime, hundreds of scientists are left without funding to continue their truly meaningful and significant research. This should be quite interesting food for thought for American taxpayers.
Alexander Bolonkin Ph.D,