A team of Japanese researchers working on a “space elevator” will run its first trial through a miniature version next week.
The test equipment will piggyback on an H-2B rocket from Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) launching from the island of Tanegashima.
Researchers at Shizuoka University developed the miniature elevator, which comes in the form of a box measuring 2.4 inches long, three centimeters wide and three centimeters high.
It will travel along a 10-meter (32.8-foot) cable suspended in space between two small satellites released from the International Space Station, according to the Mainichi.
The test will be filmed by cameras attached to the satellites.
“It’s going to be the world’s first experiment to test elevator movement in space,” a spokesperson told AFP.
The idea of space elevators was first proposed by Russian scientist Konstantin Tsiolkovsky in 1895.
The ultimate goal is to connect Earth and a space station through cables, which would allow access for cargo shipments and space tourism.
In 2014, Obayashi Corporation, a construction firm collaborating on the project, announced its capacity to build a $9-billion commercial space elevator by 2050.