Obayashi Corp. is just now finishing up the Tokyo Sky Tree, Japan’s tallest building at 2,080 feet high, and already has a new, and extremely ambitious project in mind: a space elevator. Yes, you heard that right, a SPACE ELEVATOR!
The SPACE ELEVATOR:
Obayashi Corp. is projecting the completion date to be in 2050. The space elevator would reach 22,370 miles (36,000 km) above the Earth — that’s above the altitude where geosynchronous satellites orbit. It would take a week to ride up the elevator, traveling on some type of vessel tethered to carbon nanotube cables.
In Obayashi’s plan, a carbon nanotube cable would stretch one-quarter of the way from the Earth to the moon, about 60,000 miles (96,000 km) and attach to some type of spaceborne counterweight. The other end of the tether would be anchored at an Earth-based spaceport.
The elevator car could carry up to 30 people and would travel at 125 MPH for a week. Tourists could stay at the waystation at 22,370 miles up, and scientists and researchers could go all the way to the end of the tether. However, there are still no leads on the cost, where to build it or who would finance the project. Yes, 2050 is far away, but a space elevator doesn’t get built in one day!
This is undoubtedly going to be one of the most futuristic and coolest projects ever, it makes 2001 Space Odyssey look like a joke..
Let’s start dreaming (and saving up too haha!)