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Space elevators are touted as a novel and cheap way to get cargo, and possibly people, into space one day. So far, they have barely left the drawing board, but ultimately robots could climb a cable stretching 100,000 kilometres from Earth's surface into space.

But there is a hitch: humans might not survive thanks to the whopping dose of ionising radiation they would receive travelling through the core of the Van Allen radiation belts around Earth...


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