It is a means to travel into space very economically, instead of using expensive rockets, one at a tiny cable car, from a ground base to astation in space, using simple electric motors.
The problem is that a cable of such features would have to resist enormous stress, and until recently there was no materialcapable of withstanding such a force, at this moment still no such material, but with the discovery and current advances in carbon nanotubes, companies like "Liftport" arebetting that the material will be available for next year.
What is the plan?
It takes a ship to the low orbit (much cheaper than the high orbit) not necessarily atraditional rocket, we know that similar equipment to the SpaceShip One, will be able to reach that altitude soon.
This ship then starts to rise perhaps using (this is my idea)ion thrusters, which despite being slow work (no need to rise quickly because people do not take in) to the extent that this small moon rises, also will thread releasing amicroscopic nanotubes, not the final cable, just one strong enough to start working on it (what we need is a connection to space is as cheap) once you have enough altitude,the cable is supermassive tied to a boat (to withstand the pull of the counterweight from space) in some area of the Pacific, close to Ecuador.
How it works
Imaginethat we have a thread at one end and have a weight if we rotate the weight fast enough, eventually we will have the string taut with the weight on one end. That is the same asthe intention of the orbital elevator, only instead of a person turning the weight is the rotation of the Earth, which keeps the space elevator counterweight in space.