A Canadian space company, has been granted the US patent for a space elevator which would take astronauts 20km above Earth so they could then be propelled into orbit.
The freestanding space tower would be pneumatically pressurised and be 20 times the height of current tall structures.
“Astronauts would ascend to 20km by electrical elevator. From the top of the tower, space planes will launch in a single stage to orbit, returning to the top of the tower for refueling and reflight,” said Dr Brendan Quine, the inventor.
Announced on Monday in the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO) Official Gazette, the tower could also be used for wind-energy generation, communications and tourism.
The technology offers an exciting new way to access space using completely reusable hardware and saving more than 30 percent of the fuel of a conventional rocket.
Caroline Roberts, the president and chief executive of Thoth Technology, which has been awarded the patent, believes the space tower, coupled with self-landing rocket technologies being developed by others, will herald a new era of space transportation.
“Landing on a barge at sea level is a great demonstration, but landing at 12 miles (20km) above sea level will make space flight more like taking a passenger jet.”
The space elevator tower has a segmented elevator core structure, each segment being formed of at least one pneumatically pressurised cell.
The pressure cells may be filled with air or another gas. Elevator cars may ascend or descend on the outer surface of the elevator core structure or in a shaft on the interior of the elevator core structure.
A payload may be launched from a pod or deck at the upper end of the space elevator tower.
For More: http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2015/08/patented-space-elevator-astronauts-orbit-150817184915018.html