Back in February a group of scientists decided that building a space elevator should be totally doable by the 2020s. Today we found out that Google already tried to design one but decided the company isn't ready yet.
Rich DuVall, head of the fabled Google X, gave a rare quote revealing the workings of the hush-hush research and development lab. He confirmed Google tried to develop a machine that could transport things into space.
"The team knew the cable would have to be exceptionally strong-- 'at least a hundred times stronger than the strongest steel that we have,' by [Google X researcher Dan Piponi]'s calculations. He found one material that could do this: carbon nanotubes. But no one has manufactured a perfectly formed carbon nanotube strand longer than a meter. And so elevators 'were put in a deep freeze,' as [Google X researcher Mitch Heinrich] says, and the team decided to keep tabs on any advances in the carbon nanotube field."
The carbon nanotubes are exactly what the scientists we mentioned earlier said should be used. In fact, their 2020s estimate was based on when they believed carbon nanotubes would be available on such a scale. It'll be exciting if Google gets back in the space elevator game in the future.
[via Fast Company]