Monthly Archives: January 2010

Space Debris Mitigation

In the Strategic Plan I presented to the ISEC Board during our January 6th meeting, one of my proposals was to choose a common Space-elevator related theme for all of ISEC’s activities.  Each year we would choose a different theme and revolve the following activities around it;

ISEC Technical Study – Each year ISEC will produce a peer-reviewed paper on the year’s theme.

ISEC Academic Competition – Each year, ISEC will award two academic prizes for student papers created on Space Elevator related subject matter.  Undergraduate paper submissions must be on this year’s theme (and yes, this is an early announcement of our Academic Competition – watch this space for more details – coming very soon).

ISEC Library – Each year, ISEC will populate the Space Elevator Wiki with subject matter on this year’s theme.

ISEC Journal – Each year, ISEC will produce a Journal of Space Elevator related articles, centered around this year’s theme.

The theme we have chosen this year is Space Debris Mitigation – what can we do to guarantee the safety of the Space Elevator despite all the stuff which is now orbiting the earth.  As has been pointed out ad nauseum, everything that is in orbit around the earth will, sooner or later, intersect the path of the Space Elevator.  We must have a solution (probably multiple solutions) to this problem.

The ISEC Technical Study will be on this topic.  The study team is headed up by our own Dr. Peter Swan, Ph.D., a long-time expert in this field.

To be eligible for the ISEC Academic award, papers submitted by undergraduates must be on this topic (graduate student submissions may be on any space-elevator related topic).

We have pulled together a team of four people who are now working on building up a database / library of information / papers on this year’s theme and will be updating the Space Elevator Wiki with it.

Our first ISEC Journal (estimated distribution date of Dec 1) will revolve around this theme, though additional space-elevator related topics will also be considered for inclusion.  Note that if you are a member of ISEC, you will get this Journal for free, as part of your membership benefits.

Finally, we are going to be encouraging additional papers on this theme to be presented at this year’s Space Elevator Conferences in the US, Europe and Japan.

So, stay tuned, join ISEC and help us make the Space Elevator a reality!

(Picture of orbital debris from here)

The latest from the Kansas City Space Pirates

I received this email today from Brian Turner, captain of the Kansas City Space Pirates

Well I am off to Photonics West. This is the trade show where just about all of my sponsors have a presence.  I have been invited to do a poster presentation on Tuesday evening. It should be a good opportunity to talk with other people in the profession.

Kind of interesting how this all went from “game” and “hobby” to “profession”.

Anyway. We need to raise about $40,000 to cover all of the expenses for the competition. And if we want to upgrade to premium solar cells we need another $80,000. I am not holding my breath for the $80,000.

The up side is that the competition has established itself as a draw for fans and viewers with over 25,000 surfing to the online video feed. Several dozen articles on numerous web sites and coverage on FOX news as well as other TV stations.

So now we need to connect the sponsors to the audience.

Brian Turner

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone and yes, there has been a dearth of posts lately.  Nothing’s wrong, nothing’s missing, nothing’s changed – just not a lot going on right now and everyone is busy with the holidays.

2009 was a heck of a year for the Space Elevator effort – highlighted by the fantastic success at the November Space Elevator Games (where $900,000 in NASA Prize money was won by LaserMotive) and ISEC getting it’s ‘sea legs’ and beginning to take an active role in unifying and shaping activities directed towards the development of a Space Elevator.  We also saw another carbon nanotube tether entered in the Spaceward/NASA’s Strong Tether Challenge, two sets of space elevator games run by the Japan Space Elevator Association (JSEA), conferences in the USA (by SESI & Microsoft), Europe (by EuroSpaceward) and Japan (by JSEA) and the publishing of the latest definitive word on the strength needed in a tether that could actually be used to construct a Space Elevator.

As cool as all that is/was, 2010 is shaping up to be an even more dynamic year for us.  As President of the International Space Elevator Consortium (ISEC), I’ve created a strategic plan for our organization and have submitted it to the Board of Directors for review and approval.  Once it is approved, it will be posted on the ISEC website.  We have some really exciting activities planned for this year.  If you aren’t already on the ISEC email list, I strongly encourage you to sign up.  It’s free and will guarantee that you’ll be among the first to know of our planned and happening activities.

And, I would be remiss if I were not to make another pitch for you to join ISEC.  We have lots of things that we want to do – how successful we’ll be will greatly depend on our level of funding.  You can help us help get a Space Elevator built – all of your donations will go directly towards Space Elevator development activities.

Finally, I want to re-post the very, very, very cool video (set to Carmina Burana) that Ben Shelef (CEO of the Spaceward Foundation – organizers of the Space Elevator Games) made summarizing the recently held Climber / Power-Beaming competition.


Stay tuned!