Could a new fibre developed by a research team from Tsinghua University in Beijing be strong enough to build a space elevator? 

According to the team, the answer is yes.

The research team stated that merely one cubic centimetre of the fibre, which is composed of carbon nanotube, would not break under the weight of 160 elephants, which is over 800 tonnes. 

What’s more, that tiny piece of cable would weigh only 1.6 grams itself.

Wang Changqing, a scientist at a keyspace elevator research centre at Northwestern Polytechnical University in Xian who was not involved in the Tsinghua study has called it a breakthrough. 

The team from China has patented the technology and published part of their research in the journal Nature Nanotechnology earlier this year.

In other news, on Oct 11, 2018, a Soyuz rocket failure caused an aborted mission, which sent two astronauts plummeting 80 kilometres back down to earth. But not even two months later Russia is getting ready for a quick return to space — and they’ll be taking a Canadian with them.

Last week, the Canadian Space Agency confirmed that Saint-Jacques, 48, will be part of the launch on December 3 for a six-month mission aboard the International Space Station, which is more than two weeks earlier than originally planned.

There had been some question around what would happen to the Canadian’s voyage after the Soyuz rocket failure. Two minutes into that flight, the rocket aborted at an altitude of 80 kilometres as it soared towards the International Space Station and sent the capsule holding NASA astronaut Nick Hague and Alexei Ovchinin of Roscosmos falling back down to earth. Fortunately, both astronauts were unharmed.

Lastly, NASA’s Orion spacecraft is one step closer to its first mission to fly around the moon and back, according to a recent announcement by the European Space Agency (ESA).

The ESA said their European Service Module, which will be used to power and propel the Orion spacecraft, will be shipped this week from Bremen, Germany, to the United States on an Antonov An-124 aircraft. It’ll leave in the early hours of November 5 and arrive at Kennedy Space Center in Florida on November 6. 

The ESM, engineered in Italy and Germany, is a vital European part of NASA’s ambitious Space Launch System or SLS; the Orion spacecraft part of SLS is built to take astronauts back to the moon for the first time since the 1970s.

Which mission are you most excited for? The Orion Mission or the upcoming Soyuz launch? Why? 

Do you think a space elevator might actually happen thanks to this new fibre? If so, when?

Let's discuss in the comments below!