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Japan Moving Forwards on Space Elevator (News) September 22, 2008

Posted by Nick Azer in Current News, Integration, Japan, Space Elevator.

Up until now, the space elevator (a high-concept, low-cost alternative way of moving goods from the Earth and other planetary surfaces out of gravity fields and into space) was something that ‘could’ be done, that some were ‘thinking’ of doing, a project for ‘someone, someplace’ to take on ‘someday’.

News from the Times Online today (and subsequently hitting the legendary front page of Drudge Report) is that the Japan Space Elevator Association (official website, which is entirely in Japanese) is moving forwards on actually building a space elevator, with a conference (“JpSEC2008”) set for later this year to establish a specific timetable.

This is much sooner than I personally had anticipated; to see such concrete initiative on the concept in 2008 is a big, and really exciting, step. Though it still sounds like they’re essentially in the planning stages, to have such large media exposure for their effort/conference is a major event in its own right.

Keep an eye here at Luna C/I for updates on the JSEA’s progress as they continue to gain steam, and be sure to check out my earlier features on Space Elevators for the full skinny on the concept :)


1. skinto - September 25, 2008

Hi Nick,

given that this is all in Japanese, has anyone confirmed this all, specifically the 5 billion pounds pledge?

2. Nick Azer - September 26, 2008

The Times Online article which brought this to my attention (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/science/article4799369.ece?Submitted=true) has quotes from the director of the Japanese Space Elevator Association, so their information/estimates from the article all come from the source (the JSEA itself).

Generally, estimates of the cost (regardless of builder) have been around $10 billion. Some links that talk more in-depth about SE cost estimates:


Here’s another, new article from Popular Science on the Japanese effort:


And the original, extensive, link-a-riffic look here at Luna C/I at the Space Elevator:


Thanks for the comment, hope these all helped, and let me know if you have any further questions :)


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