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A diagram of the Beanstalk. Click to enlarge.

The Challenger Planetoid, named after the Challenger space shuttle, serves as the space anchor for the Beanstalk. It is a fair-sized carbonaceous chondrite asteroid that was pulled from the Outer Belt and tethered to the top of the space elevator. It is approximately 70 000 kilometers above Cayambe, Ecuador.

The Challenger Carousel, made up of two large, half-G spin-gravity carousels, is located on the Challenger Planetoid's surface in order to help the asteroid maintain its position. Both wheels spin in opposite directions to avoid torque being transferred to the Beanstalk.

There are two sectors on the Challenger Planetoid:

  • Nearside, the side that is nearest to Earth, is where space elevator passengers embark and disembark.
  • Farside, the side that is farthest from Earth, is where travelers depart to or arrive from the moon using the Challenger Memorial Ferry.