Where were you when they built the ladder to heaven?
Yes, another Sci-Fi concept could soon be a reality, as Canadian space company Thoth Technology Inc. was recently awarded a patent for a space elevator that aims to reach 12 miles (20 kilometres) above the Earth’s surface.
The thinking is that using a space elevator would be far cheaper than rocket launches, especially when it comes to sending heavy objects or people into space.
In a statement, inventor Brendan Quine said:
Astronauts would ascend to 20 km by electrical elevator. From the top of the tower, space planes will launch in a single stage to orbit, returning to the top of the tower for refuelling and re-flight.
If the gigantic elevator is built, it could also increase the options for space transportation, especially if other companies contribute to the effort of developing alternatives to traditional rockets.
Thoth CEO Caroline Roberts added:
Landing on a barge at sea level is a great demonstration, but landing at 12 miles above sea level will make spaceflight more like taking a passenger jet.
And, in addition to space flight, the company says the space elevator could be used for wind-energy generation, communications and even tourism.
Don’t expect to be visiting the sky high tower any time soon, however, as the $5bn-$10bn project will reportedly take close to eight years to complete.
Still, this probably means we’re getting closer to those holidays to the moon. Watch this space.