A nice confluence of Clarkian techno-positivism and 21st century orbital solar power in this post on Short Sharp Science:
There’s another slight problem: the elevator doesn’t exist.
And neither do the supermaterials that could make it a reality. The elevator community’s oft-quoted carbon nanotube fibres languish in labs unable to stretch more than a few tens of centimetres without breaking.
All the more reason, says Swan, to get serious research into elevator technology underway. “We should initiate the space elevator project now and have the space solar power people buy into the concept that we’ll have one by 2030 and start planning for it. Instead of a 50-year horizon, let’s have a 20-year one.”
Stirring stuff. The space elevator is in the class of things I definitely hope to see within my lifetime.