Japan Is Launching a Mini Space Elevator Into Orbit This Month

Vision A rendering of a sea platform which could be used at the Earth base for the elevator

Willing to employ elevators to travel to space, instead of rockets, Japan took the space elevator project to the next level and planned the first tests in this regard.

According to scientists, the main difficulty in implementing the idea of the space Elevator is the development of a suitable high strength cable, which this Elevator will move. Now, Shizuoka University's Faculty of Engineering is preparing to conduct its first test in space, with the help of construction giant, the Obayashi Corporation. The idea behind this concept is somehow straightforward and implies the use of an elevator-like auto that can send people and cargo to space by traveling on a cable that connects the Earth to a space station.

The test equipment, produced by researchers at Shizuoka University, will hitch a ride on an H-2B rocket being launched by Japan's space agency from the southern island of Tanegashima next week. Cameras attached to the satellites will record the movement of the "elevator" as it moves between the two satellites. The concept first came to light in 1895 when Russian scientist Konstantin Tsiolkovsky was inspired by the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

Of course the ultimate goal is to create an elevator that brings one from Earth all the way up into space.

The structure - composed of a 96,000-kilometer (59,650-mile) carbon nanotube cable, a 400-meter (1,312-foot) diameter floating Earth Port and a 12,500-ton (11.3 million-kilogram) counterbalance - will have the capacity to carry 100-ton (90,700-kilogram) climbers.

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The satellites will be released from the ISS and a motorised container - acting as an elevator vehicle - will travel back and forth along the cable.

Clarke quote goes, "The Space Elevator will be built about 50 years after everyone stops laughing". He said: "Right now we can't make the cable long enough", he added.

The project's technical advisor, Japan's building big Obayashi Corporation, is additionally working on a a similar project, even though it previously acknowledged it expects to dispute a save elevator by 2050.The Mainichi identified a decision of boundaries researchers face.

If Japan (or anyone) can successfully create a space elevator, we could have a low-priced way to deliver supplies and people to space - some experts predict the devices could cut the cost of transporting goods from $22,000 per kilogram ($10,000 per pound) to just $220 per kilogram ($100 per pound).

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