space elevators again

Wired article on Highlift Systems. It's a pretty fluffy overview, but it does have a claim that they'll have a carbon nanotube ribbon strong enough for elevator use in 2-3 years:

On a recent day in his small office there, Edwards holds up a black strip 2 feet long. It's a prototype of the ribbon, hundreds of hairlike fibers strung together to distribute tension. The strip represents what could be Highlift's first commercial product, a nanotube composite four times stronger than steel. When it hits the market, it could be used to, for example, make superstrong tennis rackets, create cars and planes that are at once lighter and sturdier, and add decades of durability to infrastructure projects like bridges or freeways. Within two to three years, Highlift should have a material strong enough for the space elevator ribbon.
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One Response:

  1. jonabbey says:

    Coooool. An elevator would kick all the ass, but I'd be real happy with a car made of this stuff.

    $7 billion for a space elevator seems uber-cheap, though. If that's within one to two orders of magnitude of reality, we'd be fools not to build one.