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Japanese company plans to have working space elevator by 2050


Who does want to go to space? No less, in an elevator. While NASA's been working hard for years trying to find the necessary tools to do just that, other firms are doing the same across different parts of the world. Japanese construction company Obayashi, for instance, is one of those, and today it revealed its plans to have a fully functional space elevator by the year 2050. As Australian Broadcasting Corporation reports, Obayashi says it is working to build a space elevator that can reach 96,000 kilometers (roughly 60,000 miles) into space, capable of transporting people and cargo at a much lower cost than the rockets traditionally launched from Earth. The trip on Obayashi's space elevator is said to take a total of seven days one-way, with the destination being a space station that would be built specifically for this scenario.

Obayashi knows the road to build a space elevator won't be easy, particularly because some of the materials required aren't available in this day and age. That said, the Japan-based outfit believes that things like the current development carbon nanotechnology will be of huge help in turning the project into reality. According to Obayashi's Research and Development Manager, Yoji Ishikawa, "The tensile strength is almost a hundred times stronger than steel cable so it's possible." "Right now we can't make the cable long enough. We can only make 3-centimetre-long nanotubes but we need much more... we think by 2030 we'll be able to do it," he told ABC.

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