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"Sky Line" Review

Not to be confused with the 2010 alien invasion flick Skyline, Sky Line is a documentary about the quest to build a space elevator to open the final frontier in a way that's simply impossible with using rockets to lift materials from the ground to orbit.

Popularized by Arthur C. Clarke's 1979 novel The Fountains of Paradise, the space elevator would be a ribbon of carbon nanotubes, most likely, stretching from Earth tens of thousands of kilometers into the sky where a station would be built facilitating all sorts of wonderful things. Freed from the costs and risks of using rockets, projects like placing massive solar energy farms in the sky - above the clouds, collecting sunlight 24/7 and beaming it down to the ground - could be achieved.

But inventing, developing and building the means of constructing such a fantastic thing are major stumbling blocks and Sky Line introduces us to several men who are tackling the challenges with variable levels of success.

While it's a good primer for the subject, it feels padded and vague at a relatively short 74 minutes. Trimmed back to under an hour, it'd be a good Nova episode, but with too much emphasis on generally inconsequential drama - one guy went bankrupt in a day and voices concern that the landlord of the building his company operated in would call the sheriff, but it's never explained why - it feels formless at times.

Score: 5/10. Watch it on Netflix if you're a science nerd; otherwise skip it.


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