Canadian space company, Thoth Technology Inc., has been granted the United States patent for a space elevator. Announced today in the USPTO’s Official Gazette, the freestanding space tower is pneumatically pressurized and actively-guided over its base. Reaching 20 km above the planet, it would stand more than 20 times the height of current tall structures and be used for wind-energy generation, communications and tourism.
The technology offers an exciting new way to access space using completely reusable hardware and saving more than 30% of the fuel of 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,” said Dr. Brendan Quine, the inventor.
Thoth President and CEO, Caroline Roberts, believes the space tower, coupled with self-landing rocket technologies being developed by others, will herald a new era of space transportation.
“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.”