Japanese construction firm Obayashi promises to build a space elevator by 2050, one which will be able to take people and cargo to space.
Obayashi reveals that the elevator's journey will be 96,000 kilometers, or about 59,651 miles. The company estimates that the elevator will be able to complete its journey from the Earth to the space station that will be its anchor in about seven days, and vice versa.
The construction firm revealed that the fantasy will become a reality due to the advancements in carbon nanotechnology.
"The tensile strength is almost a hundred times stronger than steel cable so it's possible," says Yoji Ishikawa, a development manager and a researcher at Obayashi. "Right now we can't make the cable long enough. We can only make 3-centimeter-long nanotubes but we need much more ... we think by 2030 we'll be able to do it."
The space elevator project is a gigantic undertaking and scientists believe that one company alone may not be able to achieve success in making the elevator. Scientists suggest there has to be international cooperation to make the science fiction a reality.
It's believed the space elevator will reduce the cost to transport people and cargo to space. Reports suggest that it currently costs about $22,000 per kilometer to transport cargo into space. However, the space elevator is expected to reduce the cost to just $200 per kilometer, which means that space travel can be done by more people in the future.
The construction firm suggests that it will build space elevator cars and each car will be able to carry up to 30 people into space. Obayashi has further plans of making travel to the moon much easier and affordable for Earthlings.
Building a space elevator has attracted international attention and Obayashi is not the only company planning to build a space elevator. Michael Laine, the founder of LiftPort Group, began a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for researching the possibility of building a lunar elevator.
A space elevator will definitely bring a boom in the tourism industry, but at the same time it will also reduce the costs to launch rockets and small satellites. Small rockets and satellites can be transported to space stations and then launched from there, which will eliminate the need of rocket fuel.
The space elevator project may attract many space enthusiasts; however, there's a while to go before one is actually made.