This Huge Engineering Project May Be Our Best Chance At Colonizing Space

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… » 2/04/15 11:30am 2/04/15 11:30am

How Humanity Will Conquer Space Without Rockets

Getting out of Earth's gravity well is hard. Conventional rockets are expensive, wasteful, and as we're frequently reminded, very dangerous. Thankfully, there are alternative ways of getting ourselves and all our stuff off this rock. Here's how we'll get from Earth to space in the future. » 12/30/14 11:00am 12/30/14 11:00am

A Love Story About A Cyborg Leaving Her Wife On A Space Elevator Launch

The lyrical short film Auroras takes us into a neon-lit future where space elevators rocket people past the atmosphere, but the story at its heart is a familiar one: that of two lovers separated by circumstance, dreaming of the day they'll be reunited. » 7/09/14 2:30pm 7/09/14 2:30pm

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 4/16/14 6:40am

Here's what a Martian space elevator might actually look like

By the turn of the 23rd Century, our founding Martian colonies will be so large and developed we'll be able to see them from space, providing a spectacular view as visitors ride down on the Tharsis Space Elevator. » 2/12/14 9:00pm 2/12/14 9:00pm

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,… » 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

Carbon nanotubes will lift us to space

The idea of a 'space elevator' has been around since the late 1800s. Until now, there wasn't a material strong enough to build it. Then carbon nanotubes stepped in. » 12/27/10 4:30pm 12/27/10 4:30pm

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

A Robot Named Maryann Could Propel Us Into Space

Only three teams remain, competing for NASA's latest $2 million prize for advancing space-elevator technology. Good thing one of them, the Kansas City Space Pirates, is using a fast-climbing robot and lasers shot through telescopes. » 10/30/09 8:30am 10/30/09 8:30am

Could A Space Elevator Save The Planet?

A space elevator, carrying people and objects off the planet and into orbit, is the kind of cool mega-engineering project that thrills science-fiction fans. But it could happen in your lifetime (if you're young), and it may save the planet. » 8/15/09 1:00pm 8/15/09 1:00pm

This Space Elevator Is The Terrorists' Next Target

Author David J. Williams has premiered some amazing art from his upcoming future-thriller book The Burning Skies on his blog, including this fantastic Phoenix Space Elevator. Click through to see a gorgeous space station. » 4/09/09 4:00pm 4/09/09 4:00pm

Revolutionary New Material Will Make a Space Elevator Possible

A new form of carbon ribbon that's ultra-flexible and super-strong could become the infrastructure for the first working space elevator. Such a structure would usher in a new era in easy space travel. » 1/22/09 10:30am 1/22/09 10:30am

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…

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…