Space Elevator: August 2003

The following article first appeared in New Scientist the 5th of May, 2001.

"They say the first 100 kilometres are the best. Moments after the door slides shut with a reassuring "ker-chunk", the acceleration takes hold, pushing you gently but firmly into your seat. Terra firma drops precipitously from view, and your internal organs groan in sympathy. The base tower seems endless as it slides past the window. Then you're in open sky, at first a seemingly infinite expanse of blue, but gradually darkening until the Milky Way appears in all its glory. And throughout, the shimmering blue pool that is the Earth curves away beneath you, a sight that was once the preserve of a privileged few."

I had the privilege of first meeting Sir Arthur C. Clarke in Sri Lanka in 1998. We talked on variety of topics including Mars, a focus of mine at the time, and the Space Elevator. On our first meeting I was delighted that he shared articles, papers etc. with me which I took home with me. The following paper was first published in 1981 in Advances in Earth Oriented Applied Space Technologies. It is reprinted here with Sir Arthur's kind permission. You can never dream too big.