It may sound like the stuff of science fiction, but a Japanese team appears determined to bring a far-out-sounding concept to reality – they have developed a “space elevator.”
Researchers at Shizuoka University, working in conjunction with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, are going to conduct the first trial on a miniature version of a space elevator.
A university spokesperson said, “It’s going to be the world’s first experiment to test elevator movement in space.”
The space elevator consists of a box only 6 centimeters (2.4 inches) long and 3 centimeters (1.18 inches) wide and 3 centimeters high. This box will move along a 10-meter (32-foot) cable suspended in space between two miniature satellites
The test equipment, carrying two satellites, one of which will contain the elevator stand-in, will hitch a ride on an H-2B rocket. Movement of the motorized motion of the box will be monitored with cameras in the satellites.
If the researchers succeed in this experiment, the achievement would take the team closer to its dream of building its own space elevator to put tourists in space by 2050.