Like the Stanford Torus, the O'Neill Cylinder, and the Generation Ship, the Space Elevator is one of those ideas that keep popping up! Just when you think scientists and engineers have given up on it, there's a new round of theoretical studies that assert how it could be done. You might say that the Space Elevator is an idea that's too good to let go of.
Considering the benefits involved, this should come as no surprise. Granted, the cost in terms of money, resources, and time would be considerable, as are the engineering and logistical challenges involved. But for the one-time price of creating this megastructure, we would be able to realize space-based solar power, habitats in orbit, cities on the Moon and Mars, and more!
It would be no exaggeration at all to say that a Space Elevator would allow humanity to "build a road to space" (as Jeff Bezos says) or become "an interplanetary species" (as Elon Musk says). Basically, any and all plans for harnessing the resources of space, saving Earth from climate change, and settling all across the Solar System could be much easier to realize.
In a previous article, we took a look at the history of the concept, the many studies that have been conducted, and the handful of attempts that have been made. However, there have been considerable developments in recent years that merit attention all on their own. And the exciting thing is, they just might lead to a Space Elevator in our lifetime.
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