Monthly Archives: September 2012

Space Elevator Conference photos now online

If you visit the ISEC Flickr Photostream, you can now see photos from last month’s Space Elevator Conference.  The Collection is divided up into various sets and all pictures are labeled.

The Museum of Flight was a very interesting and enjoyable venue for the Conference.  While the rooms weren’t as ‘fancy’ as the Microsoft Conference center was, they were quite nice and the Museum of Flight as a backdrop is nothing short of awesome.  As part of being involved in this whole Space Elevator effort, I’ve been fortunate to visit some really cool places, chief among them the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center at the Edwards Air Force Base.  But the Museum of Flight ranks right up there – it truly is an amazing collection of flight-related exhibits.  And they continue to expand it – a new wing was under construction while we were there and, if we hold our Conference there next year, I very much look forward to visiting it.

We’re way behind on posting photos and we know it – we’ll have more up on this site soon…

(Picture thumbnail is one of the many, many WWII planes on exhibit at the Museum of Flight – they have a whole floor for this and another for WWI aircraft.  Click on the thumbnail to see a full-size picture.)

NASA, the Space Elevator Challenges and the Kansas City Space Pirates

Over at one of the NASA websites, there is a very nice write-up about the Kansas City Space Pirates (KCSP) and how they performed in one of the NASA Centennial Challenges (the Power-Beaming competition).  You can read it here…  The captain of the KCSP team, Brian Turner, commented ‘We got some positive press on the actual NASA web site. Makes me want to shout ‘We’re number TWO!’

So, where are we now with the Space Elevator Games?  As NASA has not renewed its 5-year commitment to the Power Beaming and Strong Tether challenges, we in the Space Elevator community have to look to other sources to fund these competitions.

The Power-Beaming competition appears to be dormant at this time.  KCSP wanted to challenge LaserMotive’s unofficial endurance record, but this isn’t happening, at least not in the immediate future.

For the Strong Tether Challenge, however, the International Space Elevator Consortium (ISEC) has pledged to find sponsorship money and host a Competition for 2013.  Finding a material strong enough to make a Tether is still the major problem and this is what we have to concentrate on.

You can bank on it – ISEC will sponsor a Strong Tether Challenge in 2013!

Round-up of news coverage of the 2012 Space Elevator Conference

Here is a list of the majority of articles that covered the recently completed Space Elevator Conference.

Leading off is Alan Boyle’s Cosmic Log post.

A post from

A local (Seattle) Online news source, The SunBreak, had a story here.

David Appell posted his coverage of the conference at the online site of Scientific American (the graphics in this article were provided by ISEC’s graphic artist, Frank Chase).

The Conference was mentioned in the Economist article on Space Elevators.

Some pre-conference articles / announcements:

This one from the Atlantic.

An article from CBS Seattle.

Geekwire questions ISEC Director Bryan Laubscher here and posts another article about the conference here.

The Tukwila discusses the ‘upcoming’ conference here.

And finally, the Space Elevator Reference announced the conference here.

ISEC’s new Twitter Feed

ISEC has a new Twitter feed and a new “social media identity” – ISEC.ORG (or ISECdotORG for those sources, such as Twitter, that have a problem with ‘the period’)!

As ISEC’s President, I pledge to send out Tweets on a regular basis, so please Follow us on Twitter at ISECdotORG!

I’ve just Tweeted about the Board of Director elections at the recent annual Board Meeting – check out the election results here.

Deadlines approaching…

posted earlier about the LiftPort Kickstarter campaign; it has now raised over $96,000 – and there is only 11 hours to go (as of this post).  If you want to contribute towards the rebirth of LiftPort, here’s a tangible way to show your support!

And,  I also posted earlier about The Tower of Babel: NASA’s Great Endeavor, a new novel with a Space Elevator as a central theme.  The author, Dr. Victor Nelson had previously offered to donate any revenues he received from early August through the end of the just-completed space elevator conference to ISEC.  Dr. Nelson has now extended that offer to September 15th, so you still have a chance to buy the book and help ISEC.  Dr. Nelson also tells me he lives “…near the Johnson Space Center and will be happy to sign the books for those who are in the area.”  Thank you Dr. Nelson!

ISEC September, 2012 eNewsletter released

The current issue of the ISEC eNewsletter has been released.  This newsletter contains a wrap-up of the just-completed Space Elevator conference, a status update on LiftPort’s Kickstarter campaign (which has now raised over $85K – wow!) and a status update on the upcoming EuSPEC (EuroSpaceward’s annual Space Elevator competition).

You can see the eNewsletter by visiting the ISEC website here.

If you’re not already subscribed to the Newsletter, you can do so here and have it delivered directly to your Inbox.

Check it out!

The Space Elevator Conference makes Scientific American

In the current online issue of Scientific American, science writer David Appell has a piece about the Space Elevator, the recent conference (photos & update coming soon, promise!), LiftPort, etc., etc., etc…

The graphic in the article is from the 2012 ISEC Poster (designed by Frank Chase – great job Frank!).

This is just the latest in a series of articles that David has written about the Space Elevator.  Other ones include:

Stairway to the heavens, Physics World, December 2011

Japanese construction firm unveils ambitious space-elevator vision, Physics World, April 2012, p. 8

Thanks David.

LiftPort and Kickstarter…

As part of the “LiftPort 2.0” relaunch, Michael Laine and company have created a Kickstarter campaign to finance some projects they want to do/accomplish.

Their initial goal was to raise $8K to finance some fairly low-grade experiments and they have totally blown by that (their campaign has raised over $60K at the time of this blog post – MOST impressive…).  This will allow them to fund some of their ‘stretch’ goals which are much more ambitious undertakings.

I spent some time with Michael at the recent Space Elevator Conference (posts about this Conference are coming soon – promise!) and it was very good to interact with him again.  He’s a dynamic force in the community and I’m glad he’s back.

I’ve become a sponsor of the LiftPort KickStarter project (at the Video Channel level – I think it’s a great idea) and I encourage you to do the same (at any level).  There’s a lot we need to learn to make a Space Elevator a possibility and this effort will contribute to the total body of knowledge that will be necessary to make this most magnificent of all engineering projects a reality.

(Note that funding for these projects will close on September 13th, so act soon if you want to be a part of this!)