This weekend I watched the documentary on Netflix Sky Line (2015).
I am a bit of a space elevator enthusiast so this documentary was right up my alley, however it did give a strange sense that the filmmakers spent a lot of their film time focusing on some not so serious actors in trying to get a space elevator reaching into the sky.
I was really glad this doc touched on the history of people dreaming of space elevators including a Russian school teacher in the late 19th century that was working through a thought experiment about gravity after seeing the Eiffel Tower.
I have been interested in a way to get to space without using jet fuel for a few years now, and that started from my own bit of an insane thought experiment. I think it was a sugar-fueled late night with a friend of mine when I lived in New Britain when we were bouncing terrible invention ideas and laughing about them. One of my previous favorites was a drive through gas station when you wouldn't have to stop moving, you keep going around in circles as you get fueled up. A completely useless innovation especially when you consider that actual gas stations are technically drive through.
I did start thinking "What if there was a train that could take you to the moon?" in order to bounce radio waves and solar energy off the moon to earth using the trains to get people up there to build the devices to do the bouncing. In about 30 seconds I realized the moon isn't stationary over the Earth and it would rip the track in half. I later found out there were other ideas bouncing around about getting a train-like device high enough into orbit to make space travel easier by means of a space elevator. My friend and I had a fun argument back and forth about the safety of building a space elevator and if it broke what kind of destruction it would create on earth.
I later went on to write a short story about a government attempt to build a space elevator that is a personal favorite of mine. This movie has inspired me and I will post that story up here on the site that I'll do soon enough, so keep an eye out for that.