Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I can't wait for this to be finished

Japan makes a lot of crazy shit, and a lot of the time it's just crazy. But sometimes the crazy stuff is actually just crazy awesome. This is a case of the latter.

Japan are planning to hold a conference to organise building a space elevator. If just the name isn't cool enough, the actual idea is. A massive cable attached to a satellite up in space with an elevator system attached, allowing us to move stuff to and from space at a fraction of a price it takes to send up a rocket.

It's not a new idea. A Russian came up with the idea in 1895. Arthur C Clarke was writing about it as science fiction in 1979. We just happen to be living in the time when it may just be feasible. We truly live in remarkable times.

The space elevator is one of those ideas that will change the world once it is realised. The new possibilities it will open up are amazing, and those are just the ones we can think of. Just like the wheel, fire, the assembly line, the computer, and all those other inventions that completely reshape the world we live in (can you imagine a world without fire?), so too will the space elevator.

This obviously won't be finished tomorrow, but it's exciting to see people seriously looking at this as something to do, and not just a nice idea for stories.

The one down side to the whole thing is the consequences if it falls down. Not a pretty scenario. I should hope that doesn't come to pass.

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