Here we go. It’s now 9:10 am, Pacific time, and the 2008 Space Elevator Conference is underway.
Two bits of breaking news. First, the team from TXL has dropped out of this year’s Space Elevator Games. I spoke with David Nemir from TXL (who is here at the conference and is giving a talk on “Thermoelectric technology and the Space Elevator) and he told me that his Board was afraid that the Space Elevator competition was taking away from the focus of their company. I don’t know what’s the matter with these people, trying to stay focused and make money. Geez… Anyway, we’re very sorry to see them go, I (and everyone else) wanted to see how their thermoelectric technology would work and it would have been nice to have at least one team which was corporate sponsored. Oh well, when their Board sees a big check going to someone this year, they can think “gee – this could have been us.”
Second, the support mechanism for the competition tether this year has been changed from a balloon to a helicopter. For various reasons, the balloon idea just didn’t work out and this other plan has been put into place. It’s simplified some issues tremendously, but has complicated others, of course. More about this later.