Traveling thousands of miles into the cosmos up a length of super-strong material, it is believed that the space elevator could revolutionize space exploration by providing an affordable means of transporting satellites, space station supplies, and one day even tourists into space.
The concept of the space elevator was first mooted by Russian engineer Yuri Artsutanov in the 1960s, and until recently has remained more familiar to fans of science fiction, such as Arthur C. Clarke’s1979 novel, “The Fountains of Paradise.”
Previous ideas, such as lassoing one end of the elevator cable to an asteroid in geo-stationary orbit, haven’t helped the concept to be accepted as a serious project.
However there is a growing recognition that what once seemed a starry idea is not merely feasible but probable.
Regular readers of this blog know that I am a strong supporter of the space elevator. I do believe it is inevitable that we will eventually have several space elevators, and that will in fact turn space travel from an exotic, expensive endeavor into a boring process of hauling cargo in both directions.
I’m glad to see it getting some mainstream attention.