Canadian space-firm Thoth Technology obviously didn’t think taking off in a jet-powered rocket is suitably thrill inducing, so they designed the ‘ThoX Tower’, a sky-high ‘Space Elevator’.
The elevator patent (or "lift", as I'm sure you prefer), has been granted in the UK and the US, but sadly will not go truly ‘into’ space but, will instead reach the stratosphere, which is close enough in our opinion. The tower will have a runway for space planes from which to land, take off and refuel too. Does anyone else think this is starting to like the beginnings of a James Bond super villain's plot?.
According to the designer, Brendan Quine, rocketry is “extremely inefficient” and the new mode of transport will consume 30 per cent less energy than a conventional rocket.
The elevator will reach 20 km above the Earth (that’s 65,616 ft for you non-metric types). To put that into perspective, the current tallest building, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, is only a mere 2,727 ft.
But the height isn’t the best bit: it will be an inflatable, freestanding structure. Not even Brian Blessed would have the lung capacity to blow that beast up. Also, we do hope they’d consider installing a slide for the down journey.
If this insane project does get the go-ahead, the big question remains: does this mean ‘we’ can go into space?
Well, according to CEO Caroline Roberts, “landing at 12 miles above sea level will make space flight more like taking a passenger jet”. Who needs a week in Majorca when you could have five minutes in space?