A groundbreaking elevator to the Moon has been unveiled by scientists in a huge breakthrough for space travel.
Researchers have been working on a Spaceline, which would link rockets to a solar-powered shuttle.
It would drastically cut the cost of space travel by harnessing solar power instead.
Researchers at Columbia University and Cambridge University published the concept in preprint server ArXiv.
It would act as a long tube tethered to the Moon and would dangle near the Earth’s orbit.
Astronauts would have to fly their rocket into the Spaceline, attach to a solar-powered shuttle and be dragged up to the Moon.
Carbon nanotubes will need to be built on a large scale for the design.
Zephyr Penoyre, one of the Columbia astronomy graduate students behind the Spaceline, told Futurism: “The line becomes a piece of infrastructure, much like an early railroad.
“The movement of people and supplies along it are much simpler and easier than the same journey in deep space.”
Researchers have proposed a cable that is extremely narrow at either end, so it doesn’t collapse under gravitational pressure.
Penoyre added: “Think of the early Antarctic basecamps, at first there might only be three engineers up there at any one time, but unlike low Earth orbit the Lagrange point is the perfect place to build.
“We could (indulging in a little imagination) picture prefabricated panels being sent up the line, and assembled into an ever-growing colony.
“I was amazed to find that there are now thousands of people living a significant part of the year in Antarctica — eventually the same could be true of the Lagrange point.”