Mar 282013
This is to scale, if you can believe that.

When I’m driving just about anywhere, I listen to podcasts. I started doing this several years ago when I first got an iPhone, and now it’s pretty much all I listen to in the car. My favorites are Stuff You Should Know, Freakonomics, The Square Ball, and Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History.  Today I listened to the Stuff You Should Know podcast titled “TV Bonus: Can we build an elevator to space?” I’d never heard of such a thing, so I out the article on the How Stuff Works website and did some other googling. Some people doubt it will ever happen, but even if it doesn’t, the idea is just awesome.

Here’s what it looks like:

And that’s basically it. There’s a platform on the equator, a giant space rope the size of the cables on the Golden Gate bridge, and a climber that goes up and down bringing things to space and back. The cost would be $200 per pound, while the cost of lifting something to space with the space shuttles  was $10,000 per pound.  I can also see a few passenger seats being available for what would undoubtedly be the ride of your life.

I don’t know if this will ever happen, but it is a very, very cool idea.