Thoth Technology Inc., a Canadian space company, has received a U.S. patent for a free-standing space elevator that could one day take space planes into Earth’s orbit 12 miles above sea level which will make the space flight more like taking a passenger jet.
Thoth engineers began working on the design in 2007 with their next goal to build a one-mile high tower within three to five years to demonstrate the potential capabilities of their space elevator concept.
The 12-mile-high tower is estimated to cost about five billion dollars and would take about eight to ten years to build according to the president and CEO of Thoth Technology Inc., Caroline Roberts.
“We are planning to license the technology to partners around the world,” Roberts wrote. “We may hold a competition to determine where to install the demonstrator or this may be determined by construction partners.”
Yet, there are still many hurdles to overcome. For example, Thoth must find feasible materials that can be both tensile and lightweight enough for the tether cable, as well as perfect the design of how to control and stabilize such a tall, slender structure in reality.
However, many experts are excited and optimistic about the space elevator becoming a reality and witness the impossible become possible.