My understanding of the idea of a space tether is that currently you wouldn't be able to build one because even just having it support it's own weight we don't have strong enough material, and with the material we do have the thickness you would need for the cable makes it impractical.
But I am wondering if there have been any designs for a space tether that have tried to break the problem down into smaller stages or parts to try and over come some of these problems.
For example if you use a high point like a mountain to start from. If you then built a tall building. If you then tethered balloons to get up higher. If you then tethered electric multi-rotor drones and powered them with power coming up the tether. Maybe there are other stages you could have that I haven't thought of and maybe things like a tall building as a starting point don't make much of a difference. I am just wondering if anyone has ever done the math on doing a space-tether in multiple stages?