A Cable Made From Diamond Nanothreads

The concept of a space elevator was just a theory when it was conceived, because no known substance was strong enough to suspend its own weight at the huge distances involved (around 100,000 kilometers). But then, carbon nanotubes were discovered, and they have the required strength to make the cable for a space elevator, when we learn how to weave them into long threads and interconnect the threads to make long cables.

Carbon nanotubes clearly have the strength to make the cable required, but they may have some limitations in terms of how large a payload they can handle. Researchers recently managed to assemble carbon atoms into a nanothread in a diamond like configuration that shows promise to be even stronger than carbon nanotubes.

It will probably take some years to stabilize the technology needed to extrude long diamond nanothreads, but when that happens, their strength will greatly increase the capacity of space elevators to handle larger payloads.

Space Elevator

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