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Space elevators straight out of Star Wars could become real soon

Flying to space? That's so last century.
  • Space elevators, like those in the Star Wars movies, could become a reality
  • When available, they could let humans and ships launch directly into space
  • Such elevators could make space tourism possible too

Published on Mar 8, 2024 at 5:59PM (UTC+4)

Last updated on Mar 8, 2024 at 9:26PM (UTC+4)

Edited by Amelia Jean Hershman-Jones

You would have thought that the journey to space would require a ship or a rocket, but the space elevator is a possibility that could come to life in the not-so-distant future – making space travel easier for all.

That’s right, space elevators – machines that can take payloads into space directly from the surface of the Earth – aren’t as far-fetched as they sound.

You might have seen similar technology in the Star Wars movies, where beings and ships could directly travel to outer space without a spacecraft.

space elevators
Supercar Blondie.

While those structures were just science fiction, the idea held some truth to it.

Likewise, the world awaits technology that allows people to travel to space, and citizens of Earth are already signing up for space travel as tourists.

“Space elevators are often dismissed as a science fiction dream, but I believe they will exist soon—perhaps in two or three decades,” physics professor, Stephen Cohen, wrote in a post for Scientific American.

If you’re wondering what such a large structure would look like, Professor Cohen describes it as “a long cable that extends up from Earth’s equator and is fixed to a satellite at the far end.”

“The system spins along with the Earth.”

But why do we need a space elevator?

In Star Wars, space elevators were necessary due to the unstable atmospheres of different planets. However, this is not the same with Earth.

space elevator space elevator like star wars
Supercar Blondie.

Considering the overall costs, such structures could immensely help reduce the resources required for space travel.

Similarly, when it becomes a reality, we could launch satellites, ships, and even astronauts directly into space, all from one elevator.

With all the added benefits, we could even have the option for space tourism, an idea that people can only desire right now.

We don’t have the technology to build a space elevator just yet.

Cohen further explains: “While the synthesis of potentially suitable materials has progressed in recent years, we are still at least 10 years away from a material solution (one having adequate properties, and that can be manufactured reasonably quickly at a reasonable cost).”

Space travel is still a vague idea today, but you can learn about the experience of astronauts who have lived in space for a long time.

It’s actually been said that astronauts come back from space as ‘different people’ – and science has explained why.

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