Fascinating read by Bradley Carl Edwards describing his practical plan to build a space elevator. I’ve been hearing about this since I was a kid reading Odyssey magazine. (Site of my first published words — a letter to the editor when I was 11.)

The idea of having a cable attached on Earth that goes all the way to a satellite in orbit sounds like pure science fiction, but Edwards’ piece convinces me it could be done.

The guy’s clearly thought of everything. How much it would cost ($20 billion), how long it would take (10 to 15 years), where to put the anchor (South Pacific floating platform), and how to start it (launch a craft halfway and then start lowering and raise the cable at the same time.)

Mars is great and all, but I wonder if this wouldn’t be the smartest endeavor for us to tackle next. It seems like a incredibly daunting task, but that’s exactly was we should do it.