Monthly Archives: September 2006

Space Elevator Games to Spur a New Generation of Space Travel

This is a recent press release from the Spaceward Foundation about the upcoming Space Elevator Games.  It is a summary of what the games are about, why the Space Elevator is important and how they are being held in conjunction with this year’s X PRIZE Cup.  The Press Release is in .pdf format.

Teams From as Far As Europe to Compete in Space Elevator Games

This is the latest press release sent out by the Spaceward Foundation concerning the upcoming Space Elevator games.  We learn that 15 teams appear to be competing (down from the original 24).  Twelve of the teams will be competing in the Lifter competition and three in the tether competition (though a fourth may make it here also).  We also get a snapshot of some of the teams.  The Press Release is in .pdf format.

Even on the ground, space elevators may have uses

NewScientistSpace article on LiftPort’s recently completed 60 day test of their one-mile high tether system.  Several interesting problems with airborne wildlife were encountered.

The article also reported that LiftPort is now working with North Carolina State University and Rutgers University to develop a three-mile high tether system.  Finally, it is reported that LiftPort’s carbon nanotube factory has now “made its own carbon nanotubes for the first time.”

Space Elevator CD released

About a month ago, I had posted about a Space-Elevator themed CD which was about to be released.  It’s out now and I received the one I ordered a few days ago.  I’ve now had a chance to listen to it and have really enjoyed it.  The CD’s artists, Dale Kay and Wes Antczak, should be very proud of their accomplishment.  I hope they sell a ton of these.

The music is, as they mention on a sticker put on the CD cover, “In the tradition of Tangerine Dream, Jean Michel Jarre and Synergy!”  You can go to the InquisitorBetrayer web site or Dale’s MySpace web site or CD Baby to listen to samples of the various tracks or to purchase the CD.  You can also purchase single tracks or the CD at Music Forte.

The cover is designed by Paul Whitehead – album cover art afficionado’s will know who he is (click on the cover graphic to see a larger version).

So, now we have something to listen to while we’re “Going Up” and have solved the problem posed here.

What happens when you mix scientific minds, deep topics — and beer?

Michael Laine from Liftport gets high marks for his recent presentation at Seattle’s Science on Tap (what a great name!).  We find out how he copes with a missing laptop power cable while swilling a Rogue Nut Brown…

This Science on Tap idea is very cool – I’ll have to look into setting up something like that around here…

30 days and counting!

Detailed, final planning for this year’s Space Elevator Games has moved into high gear.  Weekly conference calls, organized by Ben Shelef of the Spaceward Foundation, are now being held to coordinate all activities.

In this week’s call, the general schedule leading up to the Games was discussed.  The initial testing and qualification runs for the climbers will be held on October 16th, 17th and 18th.  Teams will have to demonstrate that their lifters actually function and that they are safe and “well-behaved” (i.e. they will start and stop upon command).  The 19th is being reserved for setting up the actual climber competition crane and associated equipment as well as moving the climber teams into “Climbers Row”, their designated area in the show.  The actual competition will be held on the 20th and 21st, with climbs planned to occur every hour, on the hour.

As most of you already know, this year’s Space Elevator Games are being held in conjunction with the XPrize Cup.  In the fairground setup for this competition, an area has been reserved exclusively for use by the Space Elevator Competition.  “Climbers Row”, alluded to earlier, will consist of two large tents.  In these tents will be booths for this year’s competitors and perhaps others who may be competing next year.

The number of teams competing in the Climber competition has been reduced to 13 as some teams have dropped out.  Still remaining are three teams from Canada (#104 Canada1, #115 Snowstar and #158 Punkworks), two from Europe (#165 Max Born College and #181 Recens) and eight from the USA (#101 MClimber, #110 SpaceMiners, #133 Starclimber, #143 Centaurus, #151 Space Hokie, #173 Kansas City Space Pirates, #179 Lone Star and #188 Lite Won).  Several different power beaming schemes are planned.

It should be a lot of fun.  If you haven’t made your travel plans yet, you’d better hurry as the local hotels are filling up fast.

See you there!

Space Elevator model at the First Lego League Competition

According to the First Lego League website, “The FIRST LEGO League (FLL), considered the “little league” of the FIRST Robotics Competition, is the result of a partnership between FIRST and the LEGO Group. FLL extends the FIRST concept of inspiring and celebrating science and technology to children aged 9 through 14, using real-world context and hands-on experimentation.”

One of the entrants built a model of a Space Elevator.  The photos are located on Flickr and can be found here, here and here.

Yet another reason to build a Space Elevator

The Russian Parliament voted against sending Madonna to the ISS, 252-42.  Oh the humanity!!

If we had a Space Elevator, she could just book a ride to ISS orbit, hop a shuttle craft, and pop on over (yes I know I’m oversimplifying).  I’m not sure why the Russians refused her money – they’ve allowed others to pay their way to the ISS.

Perhaps LiftPort can talk her into being an investor…

Interview with Spaceward Foundation’s Ben Shelef

On Ben King’s Blog, he mentions that he has just completed a TV spot discussing the Space Elevator.  The Blog entry is here.  When I went to view the spot, I found that, in addition to a brief summary of what the Space Elevator is, there is also an interview with The Spaceward Foundation / Elevator 2010’s Ben Shelef.

There is a link to the TV spot on Ben’s blog – or you can access it directly here.

Cool credentials…

This is cool.  There’s a resumé on Space Careers for an Aerospace Engineer which reads, in part, “Senior Member Research Staff – Assigned to Goddard Institute for Systems, Software, and Technology Research (GISSTR), Project,  Super Lightweight Interchangeable Carrier (SLIC) & Space Elevator conceptual design” – this was from his/her posting at ISR.

I was a software guy for most of my professional life, and did some pretty cool things, but nothing like this – I’m jealous…

Elevator to the stars

Over at, there is a nice article on the current state of Space Elevator development.  To read the entire article, you must subscribe to the publication.

The article discusses the Space Elevator games (as part of NASA’s Centennial Challenge), Tethers Unlimited MAST project, and the leading role that private industry will have to play in this endeavor.

Bradley Edwards and the Space Elevator part of DaVinci exhibit at Chicago’s Museum of Science & Industry

Where did the summer go?  In May, I had posted that as part of an exhibit at Chicago’s Museum of Science & Industry honoring Leonardo da Vinci, ideas from “Modern-day Leonardo’s” were on display.  One of them is Bradley Edwards and the Space Elevator.

I finally made it to the exhibit today and it was very worthwhile.  The da Vinci exhibit itself is very interesting – he truly was a remarkable man.  But I enjoyed the people and ideas being displayed in the “Modern-day Leonardo’s” even more.  In addition to static displays, there was also a video display.  For the Space Elevator portion of the video display, they played the Alan Choi video.  The exhibit runs through Labor Day.  Admission to the Museum and the daVinci exhibit is $21.00 for an adult and $16.00 for a child.

Below are some pictures from the exhibit (Click on the thumbnail for a full-scale version).