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Thursday, 23rd February 2012
In Japan Travel News,

Japan construction firm plans space elevator for tourists

Tourists in Japan could be taking an elevator into space inside 40 years if the out-of-this-world claims made by a Japanese construction firm are to be believed.

Obayashi Corp has said it wants to build an elevator that could take passengers one quarter of the way to the moon, before bringing them safely back down to earth again, the AFP reported.

To do it would use the futuristic carbon nanotube technology, a material that is over 20 times stronger than steel and considered virtually unbreakable.

This would be used to build a lift shaft an astronomical 96,000 km tall which could carry as many as 30 passengers per trip.

To reach its destination, the space-lift would travel at 200kmh for a week, stopping only once at a station some 36,000 km above the earth's surface, where tourists would disembark.

Researchers and scientists would then be able to use the remaining track to head further into space to work.

Speaking to the news agency, project leader Satomi Katsuyama, said: "Humans have long adored high towers. Rather than building it from the earth, we will construct it from the space."

However, while the company has been discussing the feasibility of the idea, it still remains little more than a pipe dream, with no costs suggested nor any suggestion of where it could be built or how it would be funded.

Obayashi is currently putting the finishing touches to a building that will become the tallest in Japan when it is finished, standing 634m tall.

The Tokyo Sky Tree will be used to broadcast digital signals as well as acting as a tourist attraction with exceptional views that extend beyond Tokyo.

"We were inspired by construction of Sky Tree," Ms Katsuyama explained.

"Our experts on construction, climate, wind patterns, design, they say it's possible."

Scientists in Japan recently developed a robot that mimics the actions of a human controller and could be used to explore dangerous environments or disaster zones.

Written by Mark Smith