Category Archives: Pictures / Drawings / Animations / Music / Humor / Game

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Peter Griffin learns about the Space Elevator…

I’ve seen this on a couple of websites lately (here and here) but don’t know who to give credit to.

The last sentence deserves comment: “If built, a space shuttle that docs [sp] at the top could be reached by the space elevator, thus eliminating the need for the shuttle to travel through Earth’s atmosphere and therefore greatly reducing the cost of space travel.”  The space shuttle was designed to re-enter the atmosphere as it had wings and landing gear and drag-chutes and all that good stuff.  If you were going to build a spacecraft that took people / cargo from a space elevator to Point A or Point B, then you wouldn’t need those (and related) items, you could build spacecraft that were optimally designed to travel in space.

Plus, being a bit pedantic, a space “shuttle” could dock anywhere along the length of a space elevator where docking facilities existed, not just at the top.

Anyway, yes Peter, yes…

The Miracle of Endymion

Anyone who is a regular reader of this blog knows about how the Space Elevator has become a staple in parts of Japan’s culture – TV shows, cartoon shows, Anime, Manga, books, etc. with a space elevator in them are quite common.

One of these movies, Miracle of Endymion, was released in 2013 (with a Blu-Ray edition coming out in February of next year).  From the Wiki:

The Toaru Majutsu no Index Movie: Miracle of Endymion (劇場版 とある魔術の禁書目録 エンデュミオンの奇蹟 Gekijōban Toaru Majutsu no Indekkusu: Endyumion no Kiseki) is a theatrical film based on the popular Toaru Majutsu no Index franchise released on February 23, 2013. It is centered around a terrible threat against the once peaceful Academy City that could lead to its destruction.

Academy City’s space elevator [is] Endymion. One day as its completion nears, Kamijou and Index meet a Level 0 girl named Meigo Arisa. Index and Arisa have a mysterious connection in their ravenous appetites. While the three are enjoying their time after school, Stiyl (who has brought in some other magicians) suddenly attacks. His target is Arisa. Why is a member of the science side like her being targeted by the magic side? With the attack from the magic side underway, Academy City deploys a unit meant to maintain order led by its female leader Shutaura. As the situation developing around Kamijou, Index, and Arisa grows more and more confused, Stiyl says, “That girl could likely cause a war between the magic side and the science side.”

When science and magic cross paths, the story begins with Endymion as its stage!

The Academy City in the story appears to be similar in setting to Professor X’s Xavier School for Gifted Youngsters.

According to one of the descriptions I read about this movie, it is “…set in the shared universes of A Certain Magical Index and A Certain Scientific Railgun…”.

A “Certain Scientific Railgun” – really?  I thought that was a translation error so went hunting for some more information about it.  I found this; “Part Girl.  Part Railgun.  All Awesome.  Misaka’s electro-manipulation abilities – and delightfully destructive Railgun projectile move – make her a rock star in Academy City. The techno-metropolis is packed with supernaturally powered students known as espers, including Misaka’s flirty friend and roommate, Kuroko.”

“Delightfully destructive Railgun projectile move” – I love it!

For completeness’ sake, I found a description of A Certain Magical Index: The description for Season 1 of this series starts out as “Kamijo is a student in Academy City, where people use science to develop supernatural abilities. The guy’s got a lot of heart – luckily for a young nun named Index. She’s on the run from a sorcery society that covets the astonishing 103,000 volumes of magical knowledge stored in her memory…”.

There are several other descriptions of this movie and its basis around the web – one of them describes the Academy City as a place where people are trying to make magic with a scientific basis.  But as Sir Arthur C. Clarke once explained in his Third Law, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”

Anyway, space elevators, magic & science, awesome art – what’s not like?  According to the movie’s description, it is subtitled in English, so maybe I’ll buy it as a Christmas present to myself.

The image thumbnails in this post all come from the The Miracle of Endymion movie.  There are several on the web – these were some of my favorites.  Clicking on any of them will display a full-size picture.

(Update – 09DEC14 – Chris Beveridge, who knows much more about manga, anime, etc. than I do, has written a review of this movie here – very useful if you want to know more about this).

Space Elevator disasters are SO photogenic…

Another picture of a potential space elevator disaster has shown up.

Admittedly, this picture of something (meteor, space debris, whatever) striking the space elevator is pretty cool but the ever increasing accuracy of tracking larger sized pieces of space debris should make this a pretty unlikely scenario…

I found the picture here, from a site called 70sSci-FiArt and I think the artist is someone titled “Manchu”…

 

Space Elevator Art – Part II

Yesterday, I posted several space elevator themed artistic creations and have some more for you today.  Without further ado…

First up is a very cool Anime creation drawn by Fatimi Kito. I don’t know anything else about it, but found it here.

Next up we have a creation from Don Dixon.  According to his website, “Don Dixon is a Fellow and founding member of the International Association of Astronomical Artists (IAAA). Honored by NASA and the New York Society of Illustrators, his artwork has been featured on the covers of Scientific American, Astronomy, Sky and Telescope, Bild der Wissenschaft, and dozens of books, ranging from physics compendiums to science fiction novels.His painting Red Mars, cover art for the first book in Kim Stanley Robinson’s award winning trilogy, rode the Phoenix spacecraft to a successful landing in the arctic region of the Red Planet in 2008 as part of the Planetary Society’s digital ‘Martian Library.’”  That’s quite a resume!

Finally, I present to you two images from French artist Ludovic Celle. He has created several images of a Martian space elevator which you can view on his website. The first one is entitled Descent at Dusk while the second, inspired by the destruction of the Martian Space Elevator in Kim Stanley Robinson’s Red Mars, is labeled Mars – Space Elevator Cable Fall (Horizon). There is another view of the fallen space elevator at his site too.

Clicking on any of these images will display a full-size version – enjoy!

Space Elevator Art

Over the past months, I’ve come across several space elevator concept images and have collected them together into two posts, one for today and one for tomorrow.

First up is an image from a July post on one of my favorite websites, io9Joao Silva is the Brazilian artist who created this – his caption reads: “If you want to get a good look at the long tether linking the space elevator platform planetside to the orbital station they built inside a hollow asteroid, you really need to be in orbit. I come to the forward viewing deck to see it whenever I can.

Next up is one of a series of images (alternative website here) from Némo Tral, a French (I believe) artist.  These images were submitted to the 2012 eVolo Skyscraper competition. and depict a space elevator in the African republic of Gabon.

Then, of course, there is Gundam, that absolutely awesome Japanese anime creation about giant robots.  A space elevator plays a prominent role in the Anno Domini timeline episodes.  There are a lot of Gundam – Space Elevator images on the web, one of my favorites is shown below.  Check out the Gundam Orbital Elevator page to see more.

And, as Gundam is to the Anime world, Halo is to the gamer world and Halo also has its own space elevator.  The Mombasa Orbital Elevator (aka the “Mombasa Tether”) is located “at the heart of the East African Protectorate city of New Mombasa on Earth“.  The Halo Wikia Orbital Elevator page has many graphics you can enjoy, one of my favorites is this one:

Clicking on any of these images will display a full-size version – enjoy!

More tomorrow…

Elevator To Space

Several years ago, 4 comics (Alex Koll, Sean Keane, Louis Katz & Chris Garcia) got together to create several short, funny, space-elevator vignettes entitled Elevator To Space.  The premise was four guys in a (building) elevator, riding it up to space.  They created 39 of these videos and they range from mildly humorous to laugh-out-loud funny.

They used to be kept at www.elevator2space.com, but some time ago let that URL lapse and it is now owned by a cybersquatter.  Most of the videos are posted on Vimeo, but you have to hunt for them a bit.  I’ve finally gathered together all the links to the videos and they can now be found on this blog’s sidebar, near the bottom.

I could only find Episode 27 on YouTube, so it has that very annoying commercial in front (which you can bypass after a few seconds).  And, of course, there is no EPISODE 13 for obvious reasons.  So peruse them and enjoy.

Some of my favorites:

EPISODE 2 – How to get rid of that annoying Elevator Music.

EPISODE 12 – Mexican birthday celebration!

EPISODE 26 – Oops!

EPISODE 32: – Violence!

EPISODE 19: And, of course, their very special Public Service Announcement.

Enjoy!

Sky Line is funded!

SPACE IS THE PLACE

by Jesse Gelaznik

 

Sky Line, the space elevator documentary film being produced by Going Up! Films, has been successfully funded!  They raised more than the $20,000 they needed and, as a result, it’s officially a “go” for the film.

Thank you to all of you who, like me, donated to getting this project finalized.  Can’t wait to see the film!

Auroras

In January of this year, I blogged about a new short film, Auroras, which was running a Kickstarter campaign to get funded.  They succeeded and a few months ago released their (very) short film.

“In a metropolis at the north pole on planet Earth, a female cyborg (“The Occupant”) is called on a mandatory long term mission to travel along a space elevator through the Aurora Borealis to serve aboard Space Gate Auroras. Forced to leave her pregnant partner, another female cyborg (“The Loved One”), they say goodbye for an extended period. Two women, human or not, in love, are forced to separate and say goodbye for an extended period of time as one departs on a life changing journey to a place that redefines imagination.”

The graphics artistry in this film, especially of the space elevator, is superb.  I’m pretty sure that a ‘real’ space elevator is not going to look like the one in this short production, but it ranks pretty high on my cool-o-meter.  View their Kickstarter page to learn more about the production and what inspired it.

There are two versions of the film, one with a voice-over and one with a musical backdrop (which the writer/director, Niles Heckman, says he now prefers).  The short, especially in the beginning, strongly reminds me of the Harrison Ford Film, Blade Runner  (This reviewer also thought it reminded him of Blade Runner).

First is the voice-over version, followed by the instrumental backdrop version.  Make sure your sound is turned up and you watch it in full-screen mode, the graphics will blow you away…

A new space elevator documentary needs your help!

A new space elevator documentary is being created and it needs your help!  The good folks over at Going Up! Films have been following all of the efforts in the space elevator arena for the past several years, interviewing and filming, and they are now ready to finalize the documentary film they are creating.

They have started a Kickstarter campaign and we need everyone who is interested in the space elevator (or just cool projects in general) to participate and DONATE!

The film is to be called “Sky Line: The Space Elevator Documentary” and will cover (in their words):

“For the past several years, the SKY LINE team has been following the space elevator community as they pursue a seemingly impossible vision. From attending various scientific gatherings, to covering NASA’s high-stakes Space Elevator Games, we got to know the major players and watch their successes and struggles, both personal and professional.  As we wrap up filming and head into post-production, we’re asking for your help with finishing funds, so we can bring this fascinating story to life.”

If you support the idea of a Space Elevator, if you want to help get the word out to everyone, please DONATE and support this project.  I have and I hope you will too.

Visit their Kickstarter website to donate and to see the (very cool) trailer…

www.spaceelevatoronline.com

Hey, a new Space Elevator website?  Oh happy day!

Surely with a URL like www.spaceelevatoronline.com, this is a Space Elevator related site?  Maybe a blog, like this one, or some other technical site?  Perhaps a Q&A site where you can ask questions about a Space Elevator and get answers?

Sadly, no…

This is the home for a new music group, Space Elevator.  They have a debut album out and you can sample it (and order it) on their website.  Now this music may or may not appeal to you – I personally didn’t find the sample attractive enough that I was going to plunk down £9.99 (plus £3.50 shipping) to order it (and it’s not on iTunes). But perhaps you will enjoy it enough to do so.

However, I must register a strong complaint with them.  Only Freddie Mercury was allowed to wear this outfit…

(Clicking on the picture thumbnails display a larger-size version of the picture)

Auroras – a Space Elevator love story?

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!

At the Kickstarter site, you can view the Project poster and the film Trailer – let’s hope this project comes to fruition!

Epicurean meals in space…

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Reader Christophe Charron sent me this short animation a few days ago.  While not directly targeted towards a Space Elevator, it’s funny and, I think, relevant nonetheless.

Christophe sends me this explanation:

Here is “Un petit plat pour l’homme”, one of the funniest short film, I think,about cooking in space (a french and epicurean vision of).

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!

Mechanic Panic

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”…

The Animals ride a Space Elevator

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…

I can’t wait…

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.

Read more about it here.

More adventures

And, while I’ve been not up-to-date in my blogging lately, our intrepid explorers have posted 3 of their latest adventures.

In the first, we get a belated Christmas wish…

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In this next snippit, we see proof that one cannot escape ‘civilization’, even on a Space Elevator…

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And finally, we have a band concert that is truly Grunge…

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I hope they have a special Valentine’s Day adventure coming up…

A new Space Elevator Song

I was recently contacted by Tris Lucas of galaxyswan, letting me know that they have created a new Space Elevator song (titled, creatively enough, “Space Elevator”) and posted it on the web.

The vocals remind me a little bit of Julie Miller (of Buddy & Julie Miler fame) and I think it is a very worthwhile effort.

You can listen to the song here.

If we get 2-3 more versions of a Space Elevator song, I’ll be able to make a compilation – and that would be very cool.

(And thank you Michael Laine for putting them in touch with me.)

I guess he shouldn’t have done that…

Will “Lick the Owl” join the lexicon?

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Don’t mess with Chuck Norris or you’ll lick the owl“…

If you don’t leave me alone, you’re going to lick the owl“…

When the Lions play the Bears on Sunday, they’re going to lick the owl“…

I’m sure someone can do better than this – come on guys, let’s get creative!

More space elevator humor…

Our intrepid explorers have released two new episodes about life aboard their particular space elevator.

The first has a Halloween theme and so I am remiss in not posting about it earlier.  In it we can see the violent side of one of our friends…

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In this second episode, well, I don’t know what to say about this second episode…

They’re back – and still horsing around…

Long time readers know of the Elevator2Space guys – 4 funny dudes who have put out a couple of dozen short vignettes of Space Elevator humor…

Their ‘final episode’ (which I blogged about here) appears to have only been a pause in their efforts.  They have two new episodes which I share with you here.

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I am very glad they are back and I plan on playing many of their videos during the upcoming Space Elevator Conference.

You can view all of their episodes here.

It’s about time!

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.”

Be wary of pushing buttons…

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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.

I’ll be posting on all of this soon…

A Japanese space elevator

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 ?

Space Elevator Visions

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…”.

Check them out – I’m sure you’ll enjoy them.

A new Space Elevator traveler…

We now have a new fellow-traveler in Space Elevator-land; Captain Casual.  You can view his adventure (which he labels as Episode 1) below.

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I think this has promise, but I’m not sure where the “700 miles of fullerene cable comes in” – a real space elevator would need to be about 60,000 miles long.  Maybe we’ll find out in a future episode.

You know, we need to come up with a moniker for these guys (the ones at Elevator2Space and now Captain Casual).

‘Elevatornauts’ doesn’t roll off the tongue.  Shortening it to ‘Vator-nauts’ sounds better but no one will know what you’re talking about.

‘Cable-nauts’ or ‘tether-nauts’?

As this is all comedy, maybe ‘Comic-nauts’ (like cosmonauts)?

If you have any suggestions, please send them in…

Lego Space Elevator climbers

There are several videos on YouTube of toy Space Elevator climbers made out of Legos – here are a few of them:

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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…

More YouTube videos…

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…

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And then we have the latest episode of our four intrepid explorers…

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Watch all of their episodes here.

More videos tomorrow…

YouTube videos…

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…

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Here is a Japanese animation ‘advertising’ (I think) the concept of a Space Elevator.

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And finally, yes, we are a pattern-seeking species, but that can certainly be carried too far – witness Exhibit A…

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More tomorrow…

More YouTube videos

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.

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And one more Space Elevator-themed video.  I think I posted an earlier version of this, but this is the ‘final version’…

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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…

Space Elevator Miscellany…

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.

(See update at the bottom of this blog post)…

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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…

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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 :)

Thanks J.D. Muriel!)

2009 EuroSpaceward Conference – Day 1 (2)

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…

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When I looked closer, I saw that there was a legend on the bottom of the clock which read “radio controlled”.  Obviously something was FUBAR’d…

I pointed it out to the Hotel personnel helping us set up.  They tried to fix it, but failed and finally just turned off the radio control.  It is now permanently 4 03′ 54″ (am?  pm?) at the conference.

Talking at the beginning of the video is John Winter (from EuroSpaceward) and myself…

Squares are evil, but SpongeBob SquarePants isn’t…

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“…

It looks like these pictures / drawings were entered in a 2007 Housing Architectural competition.

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.)

The Space Elevators…

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:

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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.

Check out their “MySpace” page.

Desperately seeking amusement…

And now we see our intrepid explorers playing a fun game of “Marco Polo”.

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I had no idea what “fish out of water” meant until I read the official Wikipedia entry on ‘Marco Polo’ – I guess I must have had a deprived childhood…

See all of our explorer’s activities on their official website.

“Who is screwing around with my head?!?”

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…

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On a related note, the ‘Gundam Big Expo 2009′  just recently finished.

And if I’m looking a little desperate for Space Elevator material to post, well, you’re correct.  I’m in the middle of my yearly pilgrimmage to Arkansas and am a little out of touch…