Space Elevator: Thoth Techology Plans to Make Space Travel Cheaper

First Posted: Aug 18, 2015 10:54 AM EDT

Thoth Technology Inc., a Canadian space firm, has been granted patents from both the United States and the United Kingdom to revolutionize the way we travel into space - by building an elevator. According to a statement released by Thoth Technology, the elevator would stand 20 km tall, more than 20 times the height of any man-made structure.

The project first began talks in August 2014, at the International Space Elevator Consortium in Seattle. The meeting brought ideas of how exactly to build such a structure, and how to anchor it to Earth. The real challenge discussed about the construction was how to build a structure that tall, and keep it stabilized against the wind and changing air pressure. 

If an elevator was built, it could reduce the cost of a launch into space by 30 percent, saving money by reducing the amount of fuel that would be used in a conventional rocket launch. The elevator would also be fully reusable, making it more efficient and affordable than other methods of reaching space.

"Astronauts would ascend to 20 km by electrical elevator," Dr. Brendan Quinn, the inventor, said. "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 re-flight."

Thoth Technology is no stranger to space missions, as it currently has a planned mission to Mars, dubbed Northern Light, as well as several planned lunar missions.

Caroline Roberts, Thoth President and CEO, believes the elevator, coupled with self-landing rocket technologies being developed by others, could usher in a new era of space travel for us.

"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," Roberts said.

According to the patent, the elevator would be an inflatable structure made from flexible sheet metal, and pressurized with gases, with stabilizing anchors on the ground and throughout the tower.

Construction on the tower does not yet have a set date to begin, but Thoth claims that it will be open to tourists when completed.

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