An elevator to space has long been dreamed of, but now a Canadian company has been granted a patent for just such an elevator, suggesting that it may become a reality. CBC has the details:
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Pembroke, Ont.-based Thoth Technology has patented an inflatable tower that could carry a “space elevator” higher than passenger jets fly – and eventually into low-Earth orbit.
The patent, which has been granted in the U.K. and the U.S. so far, describes a tower with a space launch platform on top that could theoretically be built to more than 200 kilometres high, and reach into low Earth orbit.
It would be made of stacked rings of Kevlar cells inflated with hydrogen or helium to an extremely high pressure. An elevator could ride up the tower, carrying spacecraft, satellites and other goods to be launched into space – along with tourists looking for an extraordinary view.