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Space Elevators that Soar up to 60,000 Miles ‘Possible’: Could be Built By 2035, Says New Study

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By Parismita Goswami | March 29, 2014 4:52 PM EST

Getting to the space for a breath taking view may soon be a reality with a press of button. Obayashi Corp, a Japanese company is constructing an elevator that can carry tourists to space for the spectacular view.

Reuters
Space Elevators

International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) estimates to launch the pilot project that can reach an altitude of 1000 kilometers (621 miles) by 2025 and predicts a 100,000-kilometer (62,137-mile) successor that extends to the geostationary orbit by 2035.

A new evaluation of the space elevator has been pulled together titled "Space Elevators: An Assessment of the Technological Feasibility and the Way Forward." The study was carried out by a diverse group of experts from across the world.

The study has dual judgment: A space elevator turns up to be possible, with the consideration that risks must be lessened through technological progress, and through a major international attempt, a space elevator infrastructure could indeed be built.

The tether playing as a space elevator would be used to economically place payloads and ultimately people into space with the use of electric vehicles or climbers. The Earth's rotation would keep the tether tight and capable of supporting the climbers.

A space elevator with both its end suspended in the space and extending up to 100,000 kilometers into space could provide safe, routine and inexpensive access to orbit, some researchers say.

"I think in parallel to full space elevators, partial space elevators are definitely worth exploring more," National Geographic quoted Stephen Cohen, space engineer and a physics professor at Vanier College in Montreal, Canada, who was not involved in the new study.

The basic idea of a space elevator is tied with the high price of the space rocket. Today, putting something into the geosynchronous orbit cost $25,00 per kilogram (2.2 pounds) - the place where television and communication satellite dwell. The materials used today, are not strong enough to support a full space elevator to such heights, argues the McGill University study.

"We could view it as the first building blocks of a [full] space elevator," We might start off with the partial elevator and then maybe extend it to Earth." says Pamela Woo of McGill University in Montreal and the study co-author.

"No doubt all the space agencies of the world will welcome such a definitive study that investigates new ways of transportation with major changes associated with inexpensive routine access to GEO and beyond," Gopalan Madhavan Nair, IAA president told Space.com.

"There is no doubt that the Academy, due to this study, will contribute to advancing international consensus and awareness on the need to search and develop new ways of transportation in conducting space exploration while preserving our universe in the same way we are now trying to preserve our planet Earth," Nair adds.

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(Photo: Reuters / )
Space Elevators
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