The Space Elevator speeds up cargo shipments to and from orbit. It can be used both to export precious metals to Earth and to receive resupply materials and prefabs from Earth at preferential prices. Once constructed, trade with Earth becomes much less restricted, not depending on individual rocket capacity and refueling. Players will still need the rockets to get new colonists from Earth, but they will be able to order materials and prefab buildings in huge quantities, as long as they can secure the funding for them.