Forget buying a stairway to heaven. Serious people are trying to build an elevator to space.
It might sound like the stuff of science fiction dreams, but a Japanese construction company has announced that it will have built a working space elevator by 2050. Where can I join the queue?
So I have this running bet with myself that the "Singularity" (man's union with machine, et al) will arrive on a space elevator (a near mythical delivery system to space). In other words: Pessimism. Yuri Artsutanov is more optimistic.
Scientists in Canada have designed a cheaper, easier way to build mankind's millennium-old dream of a stairway to the heavens: use balloons.
Japanese scientists are so hyped up on the possibilities of building a real life space elevator that in just two months' time the country is playing host to a conference designed to set a production timetable. Carbon nanotube technology has advanced so rapidly that a material capable of withstanding the amazing forces…