An old idea in science fiction probably first discussed by Yuri Artsutanov, but popularized by Arthur C. Clarke's The Fountains of Paradise (1979) and 3001: The Final Odyssey.

That idea being...

A strong (monofilament polymer?) cable lowered from a geosynchronous satellite and anchored to the ground (often with a small asteroid at the outer end to provide some extra tension and stability). This would provide cheap and simple access to space using elevators. Also called an orbital tower (as in Jerome D. Rosen's The Orbital Tower) and more-than-tangentially brushing against the concept of sky hooks.

(For the record, the term "beanstalk" was spread by the roleplaying game 2300AD by GDW.)

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