That Time Google Tried To Design A Space Elevator

It may be a while before space elevators become a reality, but that doesn't mean it's too early to start trying. Recently, the head of Google X's Rapid Evaluation team confirmed that its secretive R&D lab actually tried to design one — but fell short on account of one major technological hurdle. » 4/16/14 6:40am Wednesday 6:40am

Why we'll probably never build a space elevator

As humanity slowly ventures out into the cosmos, we are struggling to overcome the challenge of getting all our stuff into space. Rockets are impractical for the long term as they're prohibitively expensive, they require a ridiculous amount of fuel, and they're an environmental menace. The panacea, we've been told, is … » 2/15/13 8:20am 2/15/13 8:20am

An emotionally-intense short film about scavengers in a space elevator …

When we first saw Stuart Willis' short film Payload earlier this year, we were blown away. It's a fully-realized tale of tough frontier life in a space elevator town, which is sort of a cross between Deadwood and Tatooine. I loved the effects, and we've got concept art for the incredible space elevator. But more… » 10/01/12 1:40pm 10/01/12 1:40pm

Crowdfund Space Elevator Research and a mockumentary about America's…

The adventures of America's dinosaur soldier will be revealed at last if the short film's Kickstarter campaign receives its full funding. A steampunk alphabet book also promises to plant an early love of alternate history, and a new RPG from Monte Cook will inspire dreams of science blended with fantasy. But if you're… » 9/02/12 2:00pm 9/02/12 2:00pm

Why Japan Probably Won't Have a Space Elevator by 2050

Japanese construction company Obayashi wants to build an elevator to space — and they want to use carbon nanotubes to get there. The Tokyo-based company plans to use 60,000-miles of the cylindrical carbon structures, anchored to Earth's surface, to shuttle an elevator to and from a distance about a tenth of the Moon's… » 2/24/12 1:20pm 2/24/12 1:20pm

This massive engineering project may be our best chance at colonizing…

Space colonization has reached an impasse, for reasons far more fundamental than a lack of money for the Space Shuttle program. There is simply no way humans can travel easily offworld without using massive amounts of rocket fuel to escape the gravity well — and that's both expensive and environmentally unsustainable. … » 8/18/11 5:26pm 8/18/11 5:26pm

In Arthur Clarke's Fountains of Paradise, man makes tidy work of the…

If cleanliness is next to godliness, then I can't help but think God must like 1980's Hugo-winning novel, The Fountains of Paradise, by Arthur C. Clarke — even if it's all about getting in His face. » 11/07/10 2:00pm 11/07/10 2:00pm

Imagining the Chuck Klosterman Space Elevator

As Japan Space Elevator Associated contemplates building a space elevator » 10/08/08 8:00am 10/08/08 8:00am, writer Chuck Klosterman sees one on the horizon in his "A Brief History of the 21st Century." Artist Bruce Irving conceptualizes above, and Klosterman gives us the details below. Klosterman writes: Now we just need him to design a space hotel. …

Japan Prepares to Board the Space Elevator

When you finally take that lunar vacation, you may find yourself traveling not by space shuttle, but by elevator. Space elevators may be our best bet for establishing colonies on the moon » 9/22/08 12:00pm 9/22/08 12:00pm, potentially able to transport people and materials more far cheaply and efficiently than propulsion-based spacecraft. The actual…