Mike Steere for CNN:
A new space race is officially underway, and this one should have the sci-fi geeks salivating.
The project is a “space elevator,” and some experts now believe the concept is well within the bounds of possibility — maybe even within our lifetimes.
A conference discussing developments in space elevator concepts is being held in Japan in November and hundreds of engineers and scientists from Asia, Europe and the Americas are working to design the only lift that will take you directly to the one hundred-thousandth floor.
Despite these developments, you could be excused for thinking it all sounds a little far-fetched.
Indeed, if successfully built, the space elevator would be an unprecedented feat of human engineering.
A cable anchored to the Earth’s surface, reaching tens of thousands of kilometers into space balanced with a counterweight attached at the other end is the basic design for the elevator.