Representatives from Obayashi, a Japanese construction firm, believe that it will be feasible to build an elevator into space by 2030. As far-fetched as it may sound, the base-level technology needed to build the beyond skyscraper is already available. The 96,000 meter elevator would also dramatically cut the emissions of space travel by ending the need for rocket fuel.
Part of the reason the out-of-this-world project is possible is because improvements made to solar efficiency in recent years. If the structure were built, it would reduce the cost of sending cargo into space from nearly $22,000 per kilogram to just $200 per kilogram.
The carbon nano-materials that make up the cables for the elevator are the critical piece of technology still under development. These materials make cables far stronger than steel. While the knowledge and capacity to make the materials exists, the cables could only be constructed in pieces a few centimeters in length. Representatives from Obayashi believe this technological barrier will be resolved by 2030, making the sci-fi idea a fully constructed reality by 2050.
Read more and see video outlining the project on Green Building Elements.