USPTO Grants Patent for 12-Mile High Space Elevator

posted: 08/18/15
by: Discovery.com Staff
Space elevator
20 km Space Tower/THOTHX.COM

The United States Patent and Trademark Office has granted Ontario-based Thoth Technology a patent for a 12-mile (20 km) tall space elevator that could revolutionize space travel.

A staggering 20 times taller than any existing structure, the tower features completely reusable hardware that could save up to 30% in fuel costs compared to a conventional rocket.

"Astronauts would ascend to 20 km by electrical elevator. From the top of the tower, space planes will launch in a single stage to orbit, returning to the top of the tower for refueling and reflight," explains tower inventor Dr. Brendan Quine.

A short runway sits atop the tower, allowing for takeoff and landings.

"Landing on a barge at sea level is a great demonstration, but landing at 12 miles above sea level will make space flight more like taking a passenger jet," said Thoth President and CEO Caroline Roberts in a news release.

In addition to its aeronautic uses, the tower will harvest wind energy and could have potential applications as a tourist destination.

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