a hundred thousand kilometres of off-key lift music


Does "a hundred thousand kilometres of off-key lift music" simply mean "a ridiculous off-key lift music"?

Taking an elevator into space could actually happen
For a small but dedicated community of engiineers, this is the future of space travel: an elevator shaft of Babel capable of transporting people and equipment directly into low Earth orbit. No more spectacular lift-offs, with their countdowns and explosions. Instead, a hundred thousand kilometres of off-key lift music as you and your fellow astronauts avoid eye contact at 100 kilometres per hour.

Source: New Scientist
  • Florentia52

    Modwoman in the attic
    English - United States
    No, it means you would have to endure off-key lift music for the time it would take you to travel a hundred thousand kilometers. (The distance is probably an exaggeration.)


    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    I agree with Florentia's description. And 100,000 km is an exaggeration. A low earth orbit is only 2,000 km above the earth, while I geosynchronous orbit (a satellite that stays over the same spot on earth) is 35,700 km.


    Senior Member
    English - US

    The author is joking about the idea of an extremely long “elevator” by juxtaposing the ideas of extreme distance with what we usually associate with elevators: boring music and avoiding eye contact.
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