Construction Firm promises Space Elevator by 2050 - A Japanese construction company (Obayashi Corp) has unveiled a project to build a space elevator on Earth. The concept has been studied for decades, but the Osaka based firm famous for other very ambitious constructions, believes that materials technology has reached the point where a practical system is within reach.
In Obayashi’s project, a cable would be stretched up to 96,000 kilometers, or about one-fourth of the distance between the Earth and the moon. One end of the cable would be anchored at a spaceport on the ground, while the other would be fitted with a counterweight.
The terminal station would house laboratories and living space. The car could carry up to 30 people to the station at 200 kilometers per hour, which would mean a 7-1/2 day trip to reach the station. Magnetic linear motors are one possible means of propulsion for the car, according to Obayashi.