A space trip using an elevator may come true in 2050, as general contractor Obayashi Corp. is planning to construct a "space elevator" stretching 96,000 km above the ground.

While the concept of such an elevator has been described in science fiction novels, the construction has become possible after the 1991 discovery of carbon nanotube, a lightweight material more than 20 times stronger than steel, the company said.

Under the plan announced this week, the company will build an orbital station at an altitude of 36,000 km, a final destination for space travelers and housing experimental and development facilities utilizing the space environment.