Going up? Space elevator could slash launch costs The Christian Science Monitor

Since the dawn of the Space Age, people and hardware have thundered into orbit, shoved skyward by barely controlled explosions. Now, a loosely connected group of scientists and engineers hopes to make a launch as easy – and nearly as gentle – as pushing the “penthouse” button on an elevator. To proponents, space elevators promise to slash the cost of sending cargo and people into space. And, they say, elevators would eliminate the costly need to overengineer satellites and other payloads to survive the rigors of a launch.