The holy grail of getting into orbit has always been the ultimate development of space elevators, long, thin strands that could ferry passengers and cargo into orbit at minimal expenditure. Now a Japanese company, Obayashi Corp, specializing in engineering and construction, announced that it aims to complete a space elevator by 2050.
The JSEA (Japan Space Elevator Association) estimates that building such an elevator would cost ¥1 trillion ($12.5 billion), which isn’t bad considering how much is invested into defense in the US.
The elevator will allow 30 passengers at a time to travel upwards at 200 kph (125 mph). It makes sense to use carbon nanotubes, but skeptics aren’t convinced that this will actually be feasible. All in all, at least the goal is ambitious.