space elevator

noun
plural space elevators

Definition of space elevator

: a theoretical structure consisting primarily of a long cable that is anchored at the ground, at the midpoint by a satellite in geosynchronous orbit, and at its outer extremity to another mass (such as an asteroid), and that is designed to replace rockets as a method of transporting people and goods into outer space In a little-noticed article, Artsutanov proposed an immense "heavenly funicular," or space elevator—a geosynchronous satellite with cables reaching up to the heavens and down to Earth.— Doug Stewart

First Known Use of space elevator

1979, in the meaning defined above

Learn More About space elevator

Time Traveler for space elevator

Time Traveler

The first known use of space elevator was in 1979

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near space elevator

spaced payment

space elevator

space error

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for space elevator

Cite this Entry

“Space elevator.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/space%20elevator. Accessed 25 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Words for Scrabble

  • scrabble tiles that read scrabble quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!