bj8rn writes "Three months ago, the dreams of a space elevator finally seemed to be coming true after a successful test. An article in Nature, however, suggests that there's reason to be pessimistic. Ever since carbon nanotubes were discovered, many have been hoping that this discovery would turn the dream into reality. Pugno, however, argues that inevitable defects in the nanotubes mean that such a cable simply wouldn't be strong enough. Even if flawless nanotubes could be made for the space elevator, damage from micrometeorites and even erosion by oxygen atoms would render them weak. It would seem that sci-fi will never be anything other than what it is: a fiction."