Ever imagined what it would be like to take a space elevator up to the moon, stars, or other celestial bodies? Well, one Canadian company has gotten one step closer to making that dream a reality.
Canadian space and defense company Thoth Technology recently announced on its website that it obtained a U.S. patent for its idea of a revolutionary space elevator.
“Reaching 20 km (roughly 12.4 miles) above the planet, it would stand more than 20 times the height of current tall structures and be sued for wind-energy generation, communications and tourism,” the company’s news webpage announced.
“The technology offers an exciting new way to access space using completely reusable hardware and saving more than 30% of the fuel of a conventional rocket.”
To put it in perspective, the space elevator would be more than 20 times taller than the current tallest tower — the Burj Khalifa — (828 meters, or about 905.5 yards) and more than 35 times taller than the One World Trade Center in New York City (1,776 ft, or about 541.3 meters).
The space elevator would revolutionize space travel and research. As the Mirror reports, rockets and spaceships would only need to take off and land from the top of the elevator’s platform. This would greatly reduce the risks and costs of launching from the ground.
Thoth President and CEO Caroline Roberts explained how important space elevator concept would be for space travel.
“Landing on a barge at sea level is a great demonstration, but landing at 12 miles above sea level will make space flight more like taking a passenger jet.”
Most passenger jets today cruise at lower heights than the top of the proposed space elevator.
The inventor of the space elevator concept, Dr. Brendan Quine, said an electrical elevator would transport astronauts to the platform at the top, from where “space planes” would pick them up and come back for refueling when needed.
The idea of a space elevator was previously just an imagination of scientists and science fiction writers. Russian scientist Konstantin Tsieolkovsky first came up with the idea in 1895 during a visit to Paris. According to Discovery News, it was probably the Eiffel Tower that inspired him to come up with the idea. Arthur C. Clarke later added to the idea in his novel, The Fountains of Paradise, by suggesting the use of “a huge cable anchored to an orbiting platform.” That idea seems rather impossible, though, given mankind’s current capabilities.
[Image of 20 km Space Elevator by Thothx.com]