A space elevator is a type of surface to orbit transportation system. Its main component is a ribbon-like cable anchored to the surface and extending into geosynchronous orbit. It is designed to permit vehicle transport along the cable from a planetary surface directly into space or orbit, without the use of individual propulsion.

The competing forces of gravity, which is stronger at the lower end, and the outward/upward centrifugal force, which is stronger at the upper end, would result in the cable being held up, under tension, and stationary over a single position of the planet. Once deployed, the tether would be ascended repeatedly by mechanical means to orbit, and descended to return to the surface from orbit.[1]

  1. Rainbow Mars (novel)

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