Space Elevator - V2Image cropped - click to view
This is an illustration of a space elevator - a type of transportation system designed to move payloads from the Earth's surface into orbit. The idea was proposed in 1885 by Russian scientist Konstantin Tsiolkovsky. A cable extends from a base station at the surface, near the equator, to a counterweight beyond the geostationary point at an altitude of 35,786 km. Vehicles can then climb up and down this cable, saving on the cost and expense of launches. The only trouble is, we are nowhere near the level of technology needed to create a cable that long, and with the necessary tensile strength. This is merely an artwork, not a serious design concept.