Krulle, I was referring to the movie Krull.
First, my enthusiasm for space elevators has gone way down since SpaceX has made launching so much cheaper. Sure, Elevators or related objects could bring it down much further, but we are now on a trajectory towards it being low enough
for some very interesting things to happen.
Okay, on to the main point Space elevators are tough. You need a ludicrous amount of material that's all astoundingly strong, and it needs to maintain that strength under a strong dose of radiation.
in-principle problem - setting aside industrial scale and all that, is the third issue. Carbon nanotubes get much weaker after radiation damage. So… I think it's going to be hard. And that's setting aside the technical problems of producing strong rope out of them. That's hard because they're very slippery, though perhaps substituting Boron Nitride tubes would help, or strategicially placed Nitrogen-Boron pairs in adjoining tubes, but that would be… hard as well.
Especially considering that you then need to make a hundred-thousand-kilometer rope out of the stuff. ZOMG.
But you don't really need to make something that big! A rotavator would be much easier and useful, and might be built to minimize exposure to the Van Allen belts. Basically, make a space elevator only a few hundred miles long (800 would fit under the belts and might be long enough for things that can take high accelerations), and set it to orbit, and spin it, so it's as if it was a spoke on a wheel that was rolling over the surface of the Earth. Or rather, so the wheel was rolling over a reasonable flight path for an airplane. And you put reasonably heavy anchors at both ends, equipped with super high specific impulse ion rockets. Then each end periodically dips down towards Earth, and if you let out the rope a bit, then it dips down into the upper atmosphere at relatively low speeds.
SO, you fly a plane up at a particular time, grab onto the anchor as it dips down, and hold on as it pulls back up, and let go at the right moment so it hurls you into space. While you're there, you can load it up with fuel that it'll burn over the next day or two, to replace the energy you stole as it hurled you. Since it's high specific impulse you get a much better deal on the rocket equation than you would with a high-thrust rocket. Or don't use rockets at all, and push off the Earth's magnetic field.
Even that, though, will have to venture into the Van Allen belts in order to be long enough to spin slowly enough that the acceleration it imposes isn't waay too much for people. But it might be a good way to get cargo up into space, if SpaceX's method of just reusing rockets isn't enough.
BUT! Take all I just said with a few grains of salt since my group wasn't working on mechanics. We were doing something far more achievable on the short term: building a nose.
… under the fifth metacarpal
You had me until that. Nice technobabble.