After spending nearly 30 years managing the construction of the world’s first space elevator, I was determined to participate in the inaugural ascent from the floating platform off Kourou. Still in my prime thanks to anti-ageing treatments, I felt as strong and healthy as any astronaut, even though my presence on the crew was mostly for show. The risks were low, so my AI advisor informed me. Spun from carbon nanotubes and reeled downwards from a small asteroid captured by Planetary Resources Inc. in the late 2030s, nothing could disrupt that ribbon; nothing physical, at any rate.
As I took my place in the up-capsule, I mulled over the many false starts I’d witnessed. There would be no more pull-back to low Earth orbit; no more ‘we can’t afford to do it’; no more reality TV show nonsense. As New Year 2076 dawned, the long-postponed Big Push into the Solar System could finally begin.
We were good to go.Read More