Space Elevators Getting First Test in Space

Sept 4, 2018
Researchers at Shizuoka University, working in conjunction with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), will begin trials on a miniature version of a space elevator next week. The test is very small and simple, the tiniest step towards an actual elevator to the stars. This space elevator will consist of a small box 6 centimeters (2.4 inches) long, 3 cm (1.18 inches) wide, and 3 cm high. This box will move along a 10-meter (32-foot) cable suspended in orbit between two small CubeSats. This movement will be monitored with cameras inside of the satellites. Preliminary studies based on hypotheticals have proposed that space elevators would bring the cost of moving cargo to space down to $100 per pound compared to current launch costs of $10,000-$40,000 per pound.
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