Via Instapundit: An interview with Dr. Bradley Edwards. Space elevators are the ultimate in space exploration, much like fusion energy is the ultimate in power generation. I once wrote a short story that did not get published that was a takeoff on space elevators, so I have had an interest in the technology for over 20 years.

Back then it was considered to be a pipe dream (pun intended) to pursue a space elevator. Now NASA is actually looking at the technology.

Consider a planet earth that has a series of space elevators spaced around the equator and which also has active asteroid mining under way. Refined materials (iron, aluminum, gold, etc.) would come down the elevator, which by converting gravity to electricity would provide the power to bring people, manufactured goods and trash (yes, trash) up the elevator. What kind of trash? Nuclear waste is one example of a good thing to get off the planet…

This sort of scenario describes self-sustaining space habitation, exploration and exploitation that does not require dangerous, polluting and wasteful rockets to launch stuff into orbit.

One thing that is frequently overlooked by proponents of space elevators is that one thing that is required for such a scenario to be successful is for the space elevators to be moored in places where the political environment is stable.

If I had three wishes from a magic genie, I could do far worse than to wish for cheap sustainable fusion power generation, space elevators around the globe, and a thriving industry in space. It is hard to over-estimate the long-term beneficial consequences of those three things coming to pass.

Ah, but would it cure world hunger? Perhaps not…