This Lift Is Going Up-The Next Floor Is A Space Station

A space elevator that runs up a 22,000 mile cable from Earth to an orbiting space station was mentioned by Arthur C Clarke in one of his science fiction books many years ago, but the idea goes back to 1895 when a Russian scientist, inspired by the Eiffel Tower, proposed the idea. Now, thanks to a British invention scientists have taken the first step in what could be a huge leap for mankind in their exploration of space.

I have been following the story of a space elevator when I first heard about it a few years ago and the idea struck me as brilliant. If you haven’t heard about this concept then this is what it is – It is a  pod containing astronauts and equipment that will travel up a very long cable like a train on a track. The super strong cable will remain taut because of the centrifugal force created by the rotation of the earth. This pod will travel at 120MPH and a one way trip will take about 8 days. It literally is a very long elevator into space !

 Now a team at Cambridge University have created the world’s strongest ribbon – a strand of carbon that combines lightweight flexibility with incredible strength and the potential to stretch for long distances. At the moment the team are only producing 1gram of this high-tech material a day, which is enough for about 18 miles of the stuff, and Nasa have asked this team for cable which is 144,000 miles long ! Money is being poured into the idea but the problem of finding something strong enough and long enough to remain taut is still about 10 years away from reality. If the problem can be solved then the cost of space travel will reduce considerably.

I found a great video on You Tube which shows the concept so I hope it inspires your imagination!






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