Monthly Archives: July 2012

EuSPEC 2012 planning well underway…

Planning for the 2012 European Space Elevator Challenge (EuSPEC) is well underway.  This is the second year this competition is being held and it will occur October 25th through the 28th in Munich, Germany.

The application deadline is tomorrow, July 31st and more details can be found at their website.

The first competition (EuSEC 2011) was a great success and I’m sure this one will be even better.

The Space Elevator and Forbes…

In today’s Forbes online, science journalist Bruce Dorminey writes about the Space Elevator and the upcoming Space Elevator conference.

Bruce interviewed ISEC Conferences Chair David Horn for his story.

This is an excellent interview / article and well worth the read.

And remember, the conference is only a little more than 4 weeks away.  There is still time to register, but don’t delay.

See you there!

Dr. Bryan Laubscher to appear on The Space Show

This coming Monday, July 16th, from 2pm to 3:30pm Pacific time, Dr. Bryan Laubscher, astrophysicist and ISEC Board Member, will appear on Dr. David Livingstone’s The Space Show.  Bryan will talk about the Space Elevator, the upcoming Space Elevator Conference, carbon nanotubes and other related subjects.

From the Space Show website:

The Monday, July 16, 2012 program from 2-3:30 PM PDT welcomes back Dr. Bryan Laubscher for space elevator news, updates, and conference information.

Dr. Laubscher is a PhD in Physics with a concentration in Astrophysics. After a career as a project leader at Los Alamos National Laboratory that included research and development of astronomy projects, space missions, satellite instrumentation, optics, novel electrodynamic detection techniques, high power lasers, and classified projects Bryan became interested in the Space Elevator. Bryan’s current Space Elevator activities include being the General Chairman for the annual Space Elevator Conference held at the Microsoft Conference Center in Redmond, WA. Pursuing the R&D of the Space Elevator has led him to start Odysseus Technologies, LLC a small company based in Washington state with the goal of developing high strength carbon nanotube materials. In August 2010 and 2011, Odysseus Technologies competed in the NASA Centennial Strong Tether Challenge. Although the tether was not strong enough to win prize money, it was strong enough to beat the other two teams. Bryan now lives in Olympia, WA with his wife Carla.

Listeners can talk to Dr. Bryan Laubscher or the host using toll free 1 (866) 687-7223. Listeners can also send short email questions or comments during the discussing using by sending e-mail during the program using, or

Tune in and get the latest news and don’t hesitate to call in if you have a question or comment.

Early Bird Special – Last Call!

Just a reminder that July 15th is absolutely, positively the very last day you can sign-up to attend the upcoming Space Elevator Conference at the Early Bird special rates.  After that date, full-price will be charged.

This year’s Conference, to be held August 25-27 at the Museum of Flight in Seattle, promises to be the best ever and we sure hope you can attend.

Be There or Be Square!

Reminder – All Fall Down is free for a limited time…

A few days ago, I posted about Vern McGeorge’s eBook, All Fall Down, and mentioned that it would be free (Kindle version) from July 4th through the 8th.  This offer is open now, so visit the website and download this eBook for free!

I asked Vern if he had any comments about the writing process or anything else he would like to share and he sent me this:

What can I say about the book?

Well, I’m glad I wrote it. It’s not been financially lucrative yet – still very much in starving artist mode – but as an avid reader, I have wanted for years to give something back to the world of books. Now,I have – and I am proud of the result.

Writing a book is not for the faint of heart. It is harder than it looks and I learned (and am still learning) many lessons along the way. Among them:

  • If you are trying to write a book that is accurate to a set of facts, do your research first. It is easier to revise before you write than after.
  • When all is said and done, you have to “un-write” as well. It took years to get to 140,000 words and a year to then get rid of 40,000 words. My style got leaner and more direct as I wrote so at the end, 2/3rds of the first 1/3rd of the book had to go. It was pure bloat and removing it left a much better book.
  • Pick a story that won’t let you go. Reading three bad novels and saying “I can do better than this” will get you started but when it gets tough, and it will, a story that you just cannot let go untold will pull you through.
  • Having someone else read your work and edit your work is invaluable.
  • When you are done, you are not done. Getting the book published or self publishing as an indie author is every bit as hard as writing the book in the first place. There has never been a better time to be an indie author, but it is hard work.

All Fall Down is 20% science-fiction and 80% techno-thriller. I’m glad about the former because I feel a sense of mission to keep telling people about the Space Elevator, but my next novel will be a pure techno-thriller about an EMP attack against the USA and America’s military response. I have three more space elevator novels in the queue and a planned series of interstellar colonization stories in the planning stages. Must write faster!

I don’t recall the quotes exactly, but Charles Sheffield said “don’t let a few facts get in the way of a good story.” Robert Heinlein said “above all else, the writer owes the reader an entertaining story.” I hope that I have done both, and that where my elevator differs from Dr. Edwards’ design, I have adequately set the record straight in my Afterword. I am always eager to do anything I can to get the word out about the space elevator and will gladly answer any questions about the space elevator or about writing at Spark of Ideation.

So, head on over to the website and get a copy of this book for yourself.

Six more days

Only six more days until the “Early Bird” registrations for the 2012 Space Elevator Conference, with significant reductions over the standard registration rates, expire.

As noted earlier, this year’s Conference is being held, for the first time, at the Museum of Flight in Seattle, Washington.  This venue should be a great backdrop for the conference and the Conference organizing committee has done a great job in getting everything ready.

The program is full and contains many relevant and insightful presentations.  The second issue of CLIMB should also be ready in time to present (and sell!) at the Conference.

So, get your registrations in by July 9th, or pay the full price – see you there!