I received an email from Mr. Niles Heckman, letting me know about Auroras, a new sci-fi short film that he and his 3-person crew are creating, a”story about love, separation, and having to say goodbye.”
Niles tells me that it is “heavily influenced by Japanese anime” and is “an unconventional story about two women in love, with the backdrop of one leaving on a space elevator flight.”
Niles and his team have a Kickstarter campaign going on until the end of this month to fund the production of this film and, as of the writing of this blog post, they have raised about $8,600 towards their goal of $10,000 - almost there!
This is Corentin Charron (aka Onectin’s) third year’s short-film, from Supinfocom Arles.
Assigned topic: “The Kitchen”
Used softwares: 3ds Max 2012 (scanline only), After Effect, Premiere and Photoshop
Neil Amstrong’s “That’s one small step for man…” could be translated “Un petit pas pour l’homme” and the title of the film is “Un petit plat pour l’homme” (phoneticly near) that can be translated as “One small dish for man”
Nothing like a good bottle of wine to make the meal complete - thank you Christophe!
A new game, Mechanic Panic, has been issued for Apple platforms (iPad, iPod Touch, iPhone) with the Space Elevator as a backdrop and, guess, what, the Space Elevator gets destroyed - how original! From the game description:
“A catastrophic explosion has rocked the world’s first Space Elevator. Thankfully you’re on the job! As the fearless mechanic, jump as high as you can to save all the people in peril. The environment around you is crumbling. Beware of the many hazards that will come crashing down.”
For a limited time, the game is free, so if you’re a fan of the Space Elevator and an Apple aficionado, head on over to the iTunes link to download it.
Sir Arthur C. Clarke once famously said that the Space Elevator would be built “50 years after people stopped laughing about it.” Perhaps a more modern take on this is that a Space Elevator will be built “20 years after people stop joking about it crashing”…
Here’s an animation that just showed up in my FeedDemon reader - 8 animals riding on a Space Elevator, part of a United Nations project:
“The Animal Conference on the Environment” multimedia project was launched in 1997 during the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change held in Kyoto, Japan. The project includes children’s picture books promoting environmental awareness, and short animation video clips.
One of these videos (episode 5 - ‘With Love from Space’) has 8 animals (each one from a different country) taking a ride on a Space Elevator up to a Space Station. The details they specified about the Space Elevator are correct (at least according to current thinking). The tether (they call it a cable) is reeled outward (upwards and downwards) from GEO, the Base Station has an ocean location and , when the animals fail to get off at the first space station, it will take “days” to reach the next one (i.e. they have the Climber speed at the proper scale).
The video doesn’t give credit as to actually produced it, but I suspect the Japanese as many of the sites (one here) this video has been discussed at are Japanese, the conference kicking off the project was in Japan and when you Google this video, you find many of the titles / explanations in both English and Japanese. Anyway, I thought it was cute…
One of the activities we have going on right now at the International Space Elevator Consortium (ISEC) is defining how the thing is actually going to work - with the most detail we can get. This “Concept of Operations” will then be used to drive Business Plans, plans that can show if/how a Space Elevator can be profitable.
We are now debating several different issues, one of them being will we or will we not have a Space Station attached to the Space Elevator somewhere in LEO? Of course we would like one, but there is a weight penalty that must be paid if we have it. It’s yet to be determined whether this is feasible or not.
What would we do with a Space Station? Well, Space Tourism is the obvious example, but another opportunity has just been brought to my attention.
If you’re Poker fans (like me), you are aware of the many tournaments held each year world-wide. I think a LEO Space Station would be an ideal location for yet another tournament - we could come with all sorts of interesting names for it (which I’ll leave as an exercise for the reader). And, it seems, that we won’t be the first location off-earth that will host a Poker event. CardsChat.com (along with Virgin Galactic) has come up with the outstanding idea of a Poker match between Phil Ivey and Daniel Negreanu - two of the top (if not the top) Holdem Poker players in the world (and now out of the world) today.
I am very pleased to report that the Isle of Man Space Agency today announced plans to build the world’s first Space Elevator. Details can be found here. According to the news release, the Isle of Man will be partnering with Fox News in this effort. Rupert Murdoch is quoted as saying “We have won the ratings race on this planet. We want to be the first news organization on both the moon and Mars and ensure our supremacy there, too. Rush Limbaugh will head up the Moon division and Bill O’Reilly will be in charge of the Mars branch and a Space Elevator is the only device powerful enough to lift their egos off of the planet.”
President Barack Obama praised the move saying “This is proof that my new NASA policy is already paying dividends. I urge Congress to pass legislation to ensure that all workers on the Space Elevator, including illegal immigrants, will have health insurance.”
In response, MSNBC issued a press announcement stating “Fox News cannot be allowed to monopolize the ’space-waves’. Though we admit that even a Space Elevator is not powerful enough to lift Keith Olbermann’s ego, we will work to find a solution that can. We call on President Obama and Congress to overcome Republican objections and repeal the Law of Gravity, thus ensuring a fair and level playing field for all.”
Osama Bin Laden issued an audio tape promising to build his own Space Elevator, which he will name the “Tower of Terror”. “You don’t need gravity to behead people” he is quoted as saying. He also announced plans to build a space station several thousand miles up on the tower and use it to drop infidels to their death. “Their screaming as they burn up in the atmosphere should make a lovely sound” he said. The Disney Corporation immediately announced their intention to sue Bin Laden over the use of the name ‘Tower of Terror’ and, in response, Bin Laden issued a fatwa calling on Muslims to kill Buzz Lightyear as a ‘holy duty’.
The Pope hailed the opening of the new frontiers by saying “We’ve been having difficulty in moving some of our priests and being able to send them to the moon and Mars is a perfect solution for us.”
North Korea immediately denounced the move stating in an official press release; “Our Beloved Leader is mobilizing our armed forces to fiercely repel any attacks from the Space Elevator. ‘We will deal a decisive and final blow to any and all Elevator invaders!’” he is quoted as saying.
And finally, Sarah Palin is lobbying to become the United States of America’s first ambassador to the Space Elevator saying that “I can see both the moon and Mars from my house.”
View all of the episodes (they’re up to 26 episodes now!) here…
And, I just found a Tweet from Alex Koll (one of the four ‘climber-nauts’) which said about this episode “Season Finale”… Really? I’ll have to contact these guys again and see what’s what…
And, I’m sorry there’s been less-than-normal posting from me on this blog, but I have been very, very busy launching the various ISEC initiatives we’ve adopted for the year. We’ve received several abstracts already for the Artsutanov and Pearson prizes, we’re getting ready to issue a “Call for Papers” for the ISEC Journal, we’ve got artwork in process for the ISEC Posters, we have a Library project underway and the planning for the upcoming Space Elevator conference proceeds apace. We’ve had several new volunteers come on board and it takes time to get everyone up to speed.
At the 2008 Space Elevator Conference, a large contingent arrived from Japan (I blogged about this here). One of the many items they brought and showed was a video/cartoon that had been created by some organization in Japan. I think they also brought this video to the 2007 Space Elevator games held near Salt Lake City in Utah. I have tried to get permission to show this in the US, but so far without success
However, I did just find a website that is advertising this movie and, if you’re in Japan, you can go see it. The website is very cool, is bi-lingual (to flip it into English, just click on the ‘English’ button in the upper, right-hand corner of the webpage), and has a trailer of the movie.
Check out the Trailer and, as they have a contact form on their website, I will attempt to use this avenue to get permission to show this here in the US ?
A few days ago, I linked to a YouTube video that featured Frank Chase, an artist out of Hilo, Hawaii. This video featured Frank and several of the space elevator-related animations and drawings he has created.
I’ve now gotten in touch with Frank and he pointed me to a couple of his websites where more of his work can be seen. The one which interests me the most, of course, is his “Space Elevator Visions” website - it has some very cool drawings and also some posters for sale - all of very high quality.
He also has another site, The Virtual Nautilus, with drawings “…established to showcase the Nautilus, as described by Jules Verne…”.
I believe that in an earlier post I had mentioned it was now actually possible to purchase a Space Elevator Lego Kit in Japan. I wanted to see if I could get some information on them (and, perhaps have ISEC purchase a few so we could sponsor our own Lego competition), but I’ve had no luck. The Lego corporations in various countries don’t seem to talk to each other and certainly aren’t interested in sharing information with anyone. If someone who reads Japanese can visit the Japanese Lego site and find an email address for me to contact, I would be most grateful.
I think this catches us up on YouTube videos. Tomorrow onto something else…
And, continuing on my ‘YouTube theme’ from yesterday, here are a couple of more Space Elevator related videos that have been posted lately…
The first has been out a while, but I’ve searched back through my blog and can’t see where I posted it anywhere. It shows Michio Kaku and Brad Edwards both talking about the Space Elevator - it’s short on details though, almost like this video is a shortened version of a longer one floating around out there somewhere…
Several new Space-elevator related videos have been posted on YouTube lately.
This first one is pretty cool. Artist Frank Chase talks about the Space Elevator and shows a number of original (I think) concept drawings - some of them are very cool and very elaborate. I’ll have to see if this guy is interested in doing a poster for ISEC…
I have XKCD in my Feed Reader, so I do get to see the latest when it’s sent out, but I also had a gazillion people email me today telling me about this cartoon. Thanks, everyone, and I’m glad to see that you’re paying attention ?
This video is from the recently completed Space Elevator Games. It shows what ‘went wrong’ with a Climber pick-up before the problems were fixed and then it ‘went right’. Brian Turner, captain of the Kansas City Space Pirates, is narrating.
In general, this video has it’s facts correct with a few exceptions.
The main advantage of a Space Elevator is it’s scalability (i.e. it’s ability to scale up to carry huge amounts of material into space), not it’s relatively lower cost/kilogram to get something into orbit. I can’t emphasize this enough. With a Space Elevator (and only with a Space Elevator), you can lift the enormous quantities of material you need to colonize the moon or mars or establish a significant amount of space solar power.
Scalability people, think scalability. The video is correct in comparing the Space Elevator to the intercontinental railway for that’s what a Space Elevator is - a carbon railway to space.
Another mistake in the video is at the end when he is fancifully showing space elevators begin stationed near Spain or Japan. While it’s possible to build a Space Elevator in those areas, the many problems which will occur (and have been described in the Edwards-Westling book) will almost certainly preclude it.
And finally, I must disagree with a third point of the video - that whoever builds the first Space Elevator will control access to space. Even if the United States (or Russia or the ESA, etc.) does not build the first one, they have the resources to build one later on. Certainly whoever builds one first will own a huge commercial advantage, but only until that second elevator is up and running.
It might sound like I’m dissing this video - I’m not. It’s well done and has most of its facts correct. But we need to have all of our facts correct if we’re going to convince someone that this is an idea worth doing…
With the recent effort surrounding the Space Elevator Games and the EuroSpaceward Conference, I’ve neglected some Space Elevator related items which have been piling up in my RSS Reader. And so…
A YouTube clip from a CNN-Chile newscast states that NASA wants to build a Space Elevator (at least that’s what it says when I plug in the caption into Yahoo Babel Fish). Also, I clearly hear the announcer say “Microsoft” during her report. I don’t know if she’s talking about the recent Space Elevator conference at the Microsoft Center or somehow she thinks that Microsoft is going to build a Space Elevator.
And in this clip (from the Science Channel no less), it says that “NASA is holding a contest to see who can come up with the best plans for building a “space elevator”. I wish that were true. The Space Elevator Games piggyback upon NASA’s desire for power-beaming and strong-tethers - they have no avowed interest in building a Space Elevator (though the NASA people who I talked to at Dryden during the recent Space Elevator Games thought it was a cool idea). The clip also says that the trip to the top will take “3 months”. I don’t know where they got that figure. Even a ride to the end of the tether (100,000 km) would, at 200 mph (320 km/hour) take about 13 days. Add some time in for slowing down during start-up and at the end and maybe a stop/transit at the GEO space station and you still have well less than 1 month to the top. And, the story says that passengers could be “struck by meteroids”… Oh my. They finalize the clip by repeating the lame joke about “Elevator music”. Oh well, at least it IS the Science Channel…
And then we have a new Space Elevator cartoon - this one from the strange mind of Andy Carolan. Having LaserMotive win that $900K at the recent Space Elevator Games has given the whole effort a new burst of publicity…
I think it’s “Alien” that’s coming out of the Space Elevator, but I’m not sure…
I’ve yet to view the new Star Trek adventure, the one with the Space Elevator in it, but thanks to this Spanish language publication talking about Space Elevators in general and the recent Space Elevator Games in particular, now at least I have a ’screen-shot’ of what it looked like in the movie. I rented it today from redbox and will watch it tonight (I know, I’m so far behind).
All for now…
(Dec 14, 2009 Update - In the Comments, reader J.D. Muriel provides a translation of the Chilean broadcast. It’s odd (’surprising’ in J.D.’s terminology) to say the least… Microsoft is not sponsoring a Space Elevator, but the Space Elevator conference. And, as far as I’m aware of, there is no “Japanese-Russian alliance” that is working on this project. I think they read this article and misinterpreted it. Now don’t get me wrong - I’d love it if the Japanese and Russians decided to do this. I’ve heard rumors that the Japanese are supposedly working on some sort of ’secret’ carbon nanotube initiative and the Russians have as much (maybe more) experience working in space as does US-NASA. But I just don’t think it’s happening. Please prove me wrong
While setting up this morning for the conference, I happened to walk outside the conference room and noticed that the clock on the wall was acting strange. This video is not sped up or altered in any way…
These are cool… I stumbled across some pictures posted on Flickr that are artists conception of moving skyscrapers that travel up and down multiple Space Elevators. I followed the Flickr link back to the website and discovered “Squares are evil“…
The level of detail in this work reminds me of the Base Station designs I posted about earlier. At some point, I need to get someone to start finding these online designs and building an entry about them at the Space Elevator Wiki. This type of forward-thinking will be very helpful in the eventual real design of a Space Elevator.
Any takers for this project out there? If so, please contact me at ted [at] spaceelevatorblog.com.
And here is a picture of SpongeBob SquarePants taking a trip to the moon in (I think) a Space Elevator. Not as much detail as the artist drawings, but you got to love it all the same…
(Drawing picture thumbnail taken from the Squares are Evil website. Click on the thumbnail for a larger version or visit their website to see this and many other conceptual drawings they have created.)
(SpongeBob SquarePants picture thumbnail taken from Flickr. Click on the thumbnail for a larger version.)
I guess it had to happen sometime - there is a (new, I think) music group out now called “The Space Elevators“. They have released several songs on their MySpace website and also now have a video out on YouTube:
Their music is entirely without vocals - it’s all instrumental.
Now, understand that I’m a baby-boomer. I grew up in the drug-culture of the 60’s (for which I’m eternally grateful). Much of this group’s music reminds me of the electronic experimentation I heard during that time. There was this group called “The Corporation” and they were, I think, out of Milwaukee. The music out of these guys reminds me very much of that group…
I’m sure it’s not everyone’s “cup of tea”, but if you’re into electronic music, you might enjoy their offerings very much.
For yesterday’s post, I attempted to find non-US Space Elevator related videos - and was notably unsuccessful. But then I remembered - Gundam! This cartoon/anime series is always good for some Space Elevator ‘video’. Lot’s of shoot-em-up action…
And, this has ‘Space Elevator’ written all over it - let’s hope they write it in to the script…
I think that designing (and testing!) a zero-g or low-g distillery would be a very worthwhile science effort. I will present a proposal to the ISEC Board that we sponsor such a project. Volunteers, please contact me at ted-public [at] isec.info…
(Picture thumbnail from here - visit their website to see it in context)
In the Department of Architecture at California State Polytechnic University, Professor Michael Fox had his students do a very cool and relevant project, a design of an ocean-based base station for a Space Elevator. As far as I know, this is the first time that people from the Architecture world have had a go at this. When the time comes to actually design a real base station, we will need the Architects to work along with the Engineers in order to design this right. Yes, we could just have a floating platform that looks like an ocean-based oil rig, but why not make it aesthetically pleasing as well? Plus, architects are going to include amenities and other practicalities that would not be obvious to engineering-type designers.
There are 11 designs in all - each of them really outstanding. I invite you to visit the main project website and look at the effort each of these teams have put into this project and the level of thought and detail that they have included. I hope to be writing more about this project in the near future.
The two picture thumbnails in this post are cut from two of the projects. The topmost one is from the INTERFASE project, created by the team of Ehsaan Mesghali and Owen Liu. The bottom one is from another project (I’m unsure of the team that created this one, but I’ll find out ?). Click on either of them for a larger version of the picture.
I urge you to visit the main website and then spend some time browsing the individual designs - there really is lot of fine work here and all of the students are to be commended for their efforts.
This is starting to become very cool - more and more people / groups are releasing music about the Space Elevator. With the recent find of the song by Apraxis, that makes at least 4 Space Elevator songs I’ve found so far. Maybe I’ll put up a poll at some point and let people vote for their favorite - we can ask Simon Cowell to host a “Space Elevator Idol” show…
Click the play button above to listen. This is now at version 1.0 and its not fully mastered.. etc.
It’s not totally done but we don’t like to keep the fans waiting! Stuart T joins me on this track as well and it’s a joy working with him. For more info on the concept keep reading.
There is a Play Button, of course, for the music, and also a description of the Space Elevator concept in ‘500 words or less’. They also link to the International Space Elevator Consortium (ISEC - come join us!), so they’re keeping the website up-to-date.
Astronomers from the California Institute of Science have announced today the direct observation of a Space Elevator erected by an alien civilization outside our solar system, located around the second planet in the star system Epsilon Eridani.
Just like the great wall of China, which is the most space-visible human-made artifact on Earth, a Space Elevator is easily detected as a 100,000 km searchlight blinking on and off around the alien planet. NASA’s recently launched Kepler Space Telescope is especially designed to detect such beacons, and the detection circuits located the Eridani Space Elevator as soon as the telescope was switched on.
When asked about the significance of the discovery, ISEC’s president Ted Semon remarked that it is only logical that an alien advanced race would build a Space Elevator as they become a space faring civilization. “It is what I would do” he added. “This is also another example of science fiction predicting science fact. As is well known, the TV series Star Trek placed the planet Vulcan in the Epsilon Eridani system and now we find that there is actually an advanced civilization there.”
Scientists caution, however, that no more than 12 adults or 2000 lb (which ever is less) should be loaded onto the elevator at any given time, and that you should be careful of the closing doors. Also, if you have small children with you, you should prevent them from pushing all of the buttons as this could extend the trip by several days.
It’s been a while since I’ve inflicted shown you Space Elevator related videos I’ve found on YouTube. No, this is not the Jay Leno version of “Videos I’ve found on YouTube”, it’s mine…
This first video is of the ‘future history’ variety, talking about Space Elevators in the 31st century: (Note - updated on 03APR09 at the request of the author of the video, Erich Stüssi. He emailed me to tell me that the video I had posted was just the ‘rough cut’ of a school assignment. The one below is the final version. Thanks for the update Erich.)
This second video is of YerbY, another musician singing about a Space Elevator. This YouTube version is the ’solo acoustic’ version of his song, Space Elevator (on the album called “Space Elevator”). He also has a website where he has an orchestral version of this song plus some clips of other tunes on the album. From his website:
My album Space Elevator is the culmination of the writing I did during most of 2008. On the album, I sought not to write your average pop songs. There are no repeating choruses or verses. Every word of the lyrics was stated with care. I arranged the instruments with the goal of letting each song unfold gradually from beginning to end, hopefully taking the listener through the same journey I went through in writing it. Also, there is no “filler” on the album; I worked tirelessly on each song until I felt it expressed the idea I intended to convey. I posted the few songs above to provide stylistic samples; I wrote Space Elevator hoping for it to be heard as a complete work.
Finally, saving the best for last, is the Space Elevator Games recap / teaser put together by the Chicago video production company Bitter Jester Creative, Inc. If you were at the last Games, you undoubtedly saw this group, filming everything in sight and interviewing almost everyone in site. They are putting together a video about the Space Elevator Games with an emphasis on the human side rather than the technical side (though that will be shown, too).I really, really like this video and I can’t wait to see their final product.