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Once the realm of science fiction, a Japanese company has announced they will have a space elevator up and running by the year 2050.

If successful it would revolutionise space travel and potentially transform the global economy.

The Japanese construction giant Obayashi says they will build a space elevator that will reach 96,000 kilometres into space.

Robotic cars powered by magnetic linear motors will carry people and cargo to a newly-built space station, at a fraction of the cost of rockets. It will take seven days to get there.

The company said the fantasy can now become a reality because of the development of carbon nanotechnology.

Their target date of 2050 is far too conservative (but understandable), IMO. It will likely happen much sooner than that, given the explosive rate of graphene and metamaterials R&D. To read more, click here.