LONDON, England (CNN) -- A new space race is officially under way, and this one should have the sci-fi geeks salivating.The response to the story from a CNN reader - and so clearly, one of those Williamsburg NIMBYs - made me laugh out loud: "I just think that it'll be a waste of time, resources, and money. It'll be a maintenance nightmare." (Italics mine.)
The project is a "space elevator," and some experts now believe that the concept is well within the bounds of possibility -- maybe even within our lifetimes.
A conference discussing developments in space elevator concepts is being held in Japan in November, and hundreds of engineers and scientists from Asia, Europe and the Americas are working to design the only lift that will take you directly to the one hundred-thousandth floor....A cable anchored to the Earth's surface, reaching tens of thousands of kilometers into space, balanced with a counterweight attached at the other end is the basic design for the elevator.
It is thought that inertia -- the physics theory stating that matter retains its velocity along a straight line so long as it is not acted upon by an external force -- will cause the cable to stay stretched taut, allowing the elevator to sit in geostationary orbit.
The cable would extend into the sky, eventually reaching a satellite docking station orbiting in space.
Um, yeah, I'm sure that's the biggest problem with this project. Also, this isn't a "new" project as CNN says...see here.