A Japanese construction firm is planning to take tourists to space in an elevator that stretches a quarter of the way to the moon.
Obayashi Corp claimed the plan could be executed within 40 years.
The company says it could use carbon nanotube technology, which is more than 20 times stronger than steel, to build a lift shaft 96,000 kilometres above the Earth.
The company said it would carry up to 30 passengers at a time and travel at a speed of 200 kilometres per hour for a week, stopping off at a station at 36,000 kilometres.
Tourists would stay there, but researchers and specialists would be able to travel all the way to the end, said Satomi Katsuyama, the project’s leader.
“Humans have long adored high towers. Rather than building it from the earth, we will construct it from the space,” the Sydney Morning Herald quoted Katsuyama as saying.
However, while Obayashi says the plan could work, there are presently no estimates for the cost of the structure, nor any idea where to build it, or who would pay for it.
Obayashi is just days away from completing work on Japan’s tallest structure, the Tokyo Sky Tree, which will stand 634 metres.
The tower, which will open for business in May, will serve as a digital broadcasting antenna as well as a sightseeing attraction that allows uninterrupted views of the Japanese capital and beyond.
“We were inspired by construction of Sky Tree. Our experts on construction, climate, wind patterns, design, they say it”s possible,” she said.