We have neither the materials nor the technology to build a space elevator, nor any idea how to assemble its components. While centrifugal force works once everything is assembled, the assembly itself is something everyone conveniently blips over as “a mere detail” but in fact it is impossible to see how it could be done.

Furthermore, all space elevator hyperbole conveniently also overlooks the fact that the Earth has an atmosphere, and that atmosphere has winds. These will induce all manner of harmonics in the tether, which will make things “interesting” for any vehicle ascending or descending the structure.

In short, the grand vision is lovely but the details are so far from being even vaguely adumbrated that, just like nuclear fusion, the space elevator will forever remain 20 years away from realization.

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