Just 22,239 miles to go
An impressive demonstration and test of technologies needed for the construction of a space elevator has been successfully carried out by a company called Liftport.
They deployed a mile-long tether, carried up by three weather balloons, and had it in place for six hours while experimental crawlers tried to climb up it. One succeeded in climbing 1500 feet.
This is far more advanced that anything achieved at last October's Space Elevator competition. (More stories about that HERE and HERE). The technology is growing, and SpaceLift seems to think there may be interim market opportunities in tethers to platforms far short of orbit, such as balloons for aerial surveillance or for emergency communications, for example during a natural disaster.
There will apparently be another competition this year, in July or August in Mountain View, California. Details HERE.