New way to space? Check out Canada's space elevator idea

- Three... two... one... and doors closing.

Astronauts could be finding a new way of leaving the atmosphere. A patent for a space elevator has been awarded to a Canadian company. Officials say it's a much cheaper alternative to launching rockets.

The elevator would go about 12 miles into the air and use less fuel. Thoth Technology, the Ontario-based company, estimates the $5 billion project could have a full version within five years. 

The average cost to launch a space shuttle, as listed in NASA's FAQ, averages at $450 million per mission.

Over time, it's believed the elevator would prove to be a much more cost-effective way of transporting supplies and people.

And maybe, if we're lucky, be the next vacation destination.

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