JAPANESE scientists are attempting to build a lift that will take passengers into space, marking the realisation of a vision that has inspired science fiction writers for generations.
The lift's carriages, which will themselves require new feats of engineering, would move up and down 35,000 kilometre-long cables. Those cables would need to be stronger and lighter than any material ever woven.
They would be anchored to the ground and disappear into the sky, eventually reaching a satellite docking station orbiting above the Earth.
Carbon nanotubes to the rescue! Yeah!