Developers Behind Tokyo Sky Tree to Build 22,370-Mile High Space Elevator by 2050
February 22, 2012
The Tokyo Sky Tree, Japan’s tallest building, nearing completion. Photo via.
It seems that the race for the tallest skyscraper in the world is always tripping over itself, as one incredulous claim always begets another before you can even mouth the words “top off.” As developers in Azerbaijan are putting together plans for a one-kilometer tall tower, Obayashi Corp., the Japanese developers behind the Tokyo Sky Tree, are already projecting the completion of the world’s first ‘space elevator’ by 2050. Yes, you heard us. Space elevator.
According to The Yomiuri Shimbun, this science fiction fantasy will be constructed using cables made from carbon nanotubes, a material 20 times stronger that steel. The elevator will rise a jaw-dropping 22,370-mile high, which is approximately a quarter of the distance between Earth and the moon, and the full length of the journey is estimated to be just over one week. At the terrestrial end will be a grounded spaceport, while the top of the structure will be fitted with a counterweight. The elevator car, which can carry up to 30 people, will be propelled by magnetic linear motors. Just over a third of the way up, elevator riders will arrive at a terminal station housing laboratories and living space. Eat dust Azerbaijan!
The space elevator concept, simplified. Image via The Yomiuri Shimbun.