Canadian company granted patent for a space elevator
Science fiction and cartoons have long fantasized people travelling into space using elevators many times the height of Mount Everest and it seems that at least one company is serious about making this a reality.
Canadian space company, Thoth Technology Inc., has recently been granted the United States patent [Patent no: 9085897] for a space elevator – a freestanding space tower that is pneumatically pressurized and actively-guided over its base.
According to USPTO’s Official Gazette, the elevator would reach 20 km above the planet and would stand more than 20 times the height of current tall structures and be used for wind-energy generation, communications and tourism.
Thoth claims that their technology offers an exciting new way to access space using completely reusable hardware and saving more than 30 per cent of the fuel of a conventional rocket.
“Astronauts would ascend to 20 km 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.
Thoth President and CEO, Caroline Roberts, 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 above sea level will make space flight more like taking a passenger jet.”