The space elevator technology was discovered by Willis Linsay, Sally Linsay and Frank Wood on their mission through the Long Mars on Gap Mars East 3,000,000, Plus Change, around eleven weeks since their arrival on Gap Mars.
They were nicknamed "beanstalks," and the people who worked on the construction of them were nicknamed "stalk jacks." Frank Wood jokingly calls the day that the technology was discovered "Beanstalk Day", in reference of Step Day.
They consist of a half-inch thick super strong cable connecting the ground of a planet with a space station that is in orbit around it. An elevator is able to ride up the cable, providing easy and cheap access out of the planet's atmosphere and into orbit.
A space elevator was constructed by the LETC in various stepwise footprints of Miami including Miami West 4, to give work to the many people flooding into the city from the Datum. By 2048 the city had been transformed into a construction site, and in 2051, the terminus of the station had been built and put into orbit.
The nickname "beanstalk" is a reference to the fairy tale called Jack and the Beanstalk where Jack climbs a giant beanstalk to reach a land high in the sky.
Frank also calls the space elevator "Jacob's ladder", which is a reference to a part of the Book of Genesis where Jacob dreams about a connection between earth and heaven.