The plan to build a tower to space could act as an elevator to leave Earth

  • Obayashi Corporation wants to build a space elevator
  • The company says it will cost at least $100 billion
  • The first concept should be ready by 2050

Published on Jun 10, 2024 at 4:22 PM (UTC+4)
by Alessandro Renesis

Last updated on Jun 11, 2024 at 11:39 AM (UTC+4)
Edited by Tom Wood

A Japanese company is working on an alternative method to reach space, namely a space elevator.

Instead of using spacecraft, the idea is to use a literal elevator to travel from Earth into orbit in days, not weeks or years.

It sounds wild, but the company is convinced it is actually doable.

And they’ve now provided a deadline, sort of.

READ MORE: Seeing what a rocket launch looks like from space will leave you awestruck

The company in question is called Obayashi Corporation, which is famous for building the 634-meter Tokyo Skytree, which is the tallest tower in the world.

We know what you’re thinking.

Yes, Burj Khalifa is taller, but the Burj technically qualifies as a ‘structure’ or a ‘building’, not a ‘tower’.

But we digress – the point is, Obayashi’s latest project will make building a 634-meter tower look like a walk in the park.

This new project is a tiny bit more ambitious because Obayashi said the goal is to reach the Moon and Mars.

Just a bit more ambitious, then.

How does the elevator work?

Obayashi wants to build an Earth Port docked in the sea, like a cruise terminal, with a visitor’s center, too.

The port would be located near the equator and it would be connected to an opposite port in space.

The toughest part to understand – and many parts of this project are hard to even conceive – is that in order to create a tether between Earth and space, you need something quite sturdy at the other end of the cable.

But, according to Obayashi, if you can work out a way to do it 100 meters above Earth, you can theoretically do it for 10,000 meters.

Or 100,000 kilometers.

So when is the space elevator going to be ready?

Obayashi clearly took a leaf out of Elon Musk’s book because the company’s predictions are wildly optimistic.

A bit like when Musk says he has a plan to send millions of people to Mars.

The Japanese firm says construction could begin as early as next year, and a working model could be ready by 2050.

There’s also a massive(ly) expensive elephant in the room.

This is because Obayashi Corporation says the elevator will cost at least $100 billion.

As with many things like this, we’ll just have to see if they are right. m

It’ll be a surprise if this development ever gets off the floor though – both literally and figuratively.

# Tags - Space


Alessandro Renesis

Experienced content creator with a strong focus on cars and watches. Alessandro penned the first-ever post on the Supercar Blondie website and covers cars, watches, yachts, real estate and crypto. Former DriveTribe writer, fixed gear bike owner, obsessed with ducks for some reason.