bofh31337 writes "Scientist Bradley C. Edwards, head of the space elevator project at the Institute for Scientific Research, thinks an elevator that climbs 62,000 miles into space could be operating in 15 years. He pegs the cost at $10 billion, a pittance compared with other space endeavors. 'It's not new physics--nothing new has to be discovered, nothing new has to be invented from scratch,' he says. 'If there are delays in budget or delays in whatever, it could stretch, but 15 years is a realistic estimate for when we could have one up.' NASA already has given more than $500,000 to study the idea, and Congress has earmarked $2.5 million more."