Meet the People Who Dream of Building a Space Elevator

In his 1979 novel Fountains of Paradise, Arthur C. Clarke described an impossibly tall tower that would ferry humans from the Earth’s surface into orbit. Nearly forty years later, space elevators still have the ring of science fiction. But against all odds, a small community of engineers is pushing the idea closer to… »Friday 10:30am11/20/15 10:30am

The Unlikely Quest to Build a Tower Tall Enough to Take Astronauts to Space

The space elevator is a glorious science fiction idea that’s never gotten past the concept stage, mostly because it’s impossible to build one right now. Recognizing this, a Canadian space firm is hoping to test the waters with a slightly scaled-down version — a space tower, if you will, that only rises into the… »8/18/15 7:30pm8/18/15 7:30pm

This Huge Engineering Project May Be Our Best Chance At Colonizing Space

Space colonization has reached an impasse, for reasons far more fundamental than a lack of money for the Space Shuttle program. There is simply no way humans can travel easily offworld without using massive amounts of rocket fuel to escape the gravity well — and that’s both expensive and environmentally unsustainable.… »2/04/15 2:32pm2/04/15 2:32pm

These Tiny Diamond Nanothreads Could Someday Support a Space Elevator

A team of scientists just strung a tone of the world's smallest diamonds into superstrong nanothreads. That makes for one impressive (and basically invisible) necklace, but the applications of these nanothreads don't end there. They could someday help string up an elevator to space—just like in science fiction. »9/22/14 5:55pm9/22/14 5:55pm

Invisible, Near-Weightless Nanotubes Could Support Humans, Buildings, Space Elevators

In what sounds like the result of the lamest Truth or Dare party ever, scientists have calculated how many nanotubes it would take to support the weight of one human. The discovery unto itself isn't that impressive-a nanotube rope that's one centimeter in diameter could do the trick. But when you realize that the rope… »7/21/08 11:15am7/21/08 11:15am

Japanese Team Creates Working Space Elevator... Made of Lego Blocks

For those of you who know what a space elevator is, you also know how difficult (some would say impossible) it will be to create one. Well, don't tell that to the starry-eyed guys in Redmond this weekend, who are attending the annual Space Elevator Conference 2008. And they have a blog! And in this blog today I… »7/20/08 1:00pm7/20/08 1:00pm