NASA offers $400,000 prize for Space Elevator...

The space elevator was popularized by Arthur C. Clarke in the Fountains of Paradise...but is now getting play as a low-budget launch alternative.

If it is ever developed, it eliminates the need for expensive stage 1 rockets and could make moving up to the edge of space as easy as riding in a tall elevator.

The main issue in successful development is creating a material strong and lightweight enough to extend the 29,000 miles to geosynchronous orbit, a spot that would remain stationary above the earth...

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