To the Moon in a Space Elevator?

February 5, 2003 | Source: Wired News

The Columbia disaster could spur faster development of a radically different approach to reaching outer space: the space elevator.

Using lightweight, strong carbon nanotubes, it’s feasible to talk of building a meter-wide “ribbon” that would start on a mobile ocean platform at the equator and extend 62,000 miles up into space. It would ferry materials such as satellites and replacement parts for space stations — or even people — up into space and could become a reality in 15 years for $10 billion.