Aerospace & Defence

Mini ‘Space Elevator’ to be tested by Japan


The first trial of a ‘space elevator’ is to be conducted by the Japanese team in mid-September, to test the new carbon nanotube technology.

Researchers at Shizuoka University prepared a miniature version of the space elevator on an H-2B rocket, which will be launched by Japan’s space agency from southern island of Tanegashima by the second week of September 2018. The trial is conducted to test the technology that was designed by Japanese scientists considering the use of carbon nanotube technology in the gigantic version.

The miniature elevator stand is a small box, with measurements as: six centimeters (2.4 inches) long, three centimeters wide, and three centimeters high. The plan is to move it along a 10-metre cable, which will be suspended in space between two mini satellites. The whole set up will be inside a container, which will be placed inside the satellite. The researchers will monitor the movement of the mini elevator from earth through the attached camera inside the satellites.

The idea of space elevators was first proposed in 1895 by Russian scientist Konstantin Tsiolkovsky after he saw the Eiffel Tower in Paris. The Japanese endeavor to test elevator movement in space is going to be the first of its kind. The project is being collaborated by Obayashi, a Japanese construction firm with the Shizuoka University, which is exploring to build its own space elevator, a lift shaft 96,000 kilometers (roughly 60,000 miles) above the put tourists in space by 20150.