Space Elevator: Science Fiction or Global Warming Cure?
Researchers gathered at the Space Elevator Conference on Thursday said that an elevator could make transportation to space so much more inexpensive than it is now, that companies could build large solar-power farms in space to provide energy for people on Earth. That could eliminate the need to burn fossil fuels and thus reduce global warming.
Gathered on Microsoft’s campus in Redmond, Washington, presenters at the conference said they’ve worked out some problems but continue to face challenges to building a space elevator.
A space elevator would essentially be a long rope made of nanomaterials, stretching from Earth to a counterweight at geosynchronous altitude, about 22,000 miles (35,406 kilometers) above Earth’s surface. Special craft, like elevator cars, would travel along the ribbon, carrying people and goods into space in a matter of days.
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