In the 22nd century, Dr Vannevar Morgan is a famous structural engineer who hopes to develop the “space elevator” from a theoretical concept to reality and enlists the resources of his employers to carry out experiments. To demonstrate the viability of the technology, Morgan tries to run a thin cable of “hyperfilament” from an orbital factory down to ground level at Taprobane. His attempt succeeds, but the hurricane blows butterflies to the peak of the mountain. This fulfills an ancient prophecy that causes the monks fountains of paradise pdf leave the mountain.
The tower can be built on Earth after all. Forced to resign his position for acting beyond his authority, Morgan joins the Martian consortium named “Astroengineering” and construction of the Tower commences. Several years later, the Earth-based tower is well under construction and travel up and down—both for tourists and for transfer to rocket ships—is being trialled. An astrophysicist and a group of his students and tower staff are stranded in an emergency chamber six hundred kilometres up after an accident with their transport capsule.
They have limited food and air supplies. Despite his rapidly failing health, Morgan asserts his right to travel up the tower in a one-man “spider” to rescue them. He nearly fails, with limited battery power, but ultimately succeeds in reaching the chamber, delivering the supplies, and thus saving the stranded scientists. Morgan walks around outside the tower to investigate damage the accident caused. On the way back down, he realizes that the geostationary satellites could be connected, and more space elevators could be constructed, forming a wheel-like structure without gravitational perturbation problems. Then he has a heart attack and dies.
A short epilogue envisages Earth many centuries later, after the sun has cooled and Earth has been depopulated, with humans now living on the terraformed inner planets. Several space elevators lead to a giant “circumterran” space station that encircles Earth at geostationary altitude. Famous journalist and sometime Professor of electronic journalism. She is the first member outside the engineering team to ride up the tower in a one-person “Spider” to prove that the technology is practical. President, and effectively dictator, of the Autonomous North African Republic, which has backed many of Morgan’s projects. Venerable Anandatissa Bodhidharma Mahanayake Thero.
Incumbent leader of the Sri Kanda temple. Dr Choam Goldberg, also known as Venerable Parakarma. Astrophysicist and expert in the mathematics of Micrometeorology. It foreshadows the exploits of Vannevar Morgan in his determination to realise the space elevator. Clarke envisions a microscopically thin but strong “hyperfilament” that makes the elevator possible. Starholme” by Clarke, passes through our solar system. Earth, and is connected to Earth’s surface with 4 space elevators.