July 21st, 2008
Before and during the conference, I learned several bits of new information about the upcoming Space Elevator Games. Some has been related previously, but I’m going to try and sum it up here.
The Climber-Power/Beaming rules are still the same (the racetrack is a steel rope, 1 kilometer tall), but the device holding the racetrack “up” has changed. Previously it was going to be a balloon, but this turned out to be impractical and has since been changed to a helicopter (we are all grateful to Tom Nugent of the LaserMotive team for suggesting this idea). Issues about downdraft, stray Laser rays reaching the helicopter, hover time, etc. all seem to have been worked out.
The time for these Games has been moved to late October. The exact dates are not yet sure, but it will probably be the weekend of either Oct 18-19 or Oct 25-26. In response to this, EuroSpaceward has moved their event (originally scheduled at that time) to late December - more about this in a later post.
The Climber/Power-Beaming team from TXL has dropped out and the team from E-T-C is still looking for a sponsor. I know that LaserMotive and the KC Space Pirates will be there and also the team from USST. Patrick Allen, President of the USST team was at the conference and confirmed to me that they are competing. Being the tight-lipped group they are, he wouldn’t confirm anything else about their team but did say that they would “try” to post some more regular updates on their website.
Stephen Steiner from the DeltaX Tether team gave a presentation (via phone) to the conference titled “Production of high strength-to-weight ratio tethers from carbon nanotube yarns and textiles” (a very interesting talk which I will cover later) and, during his presentation, confirmed that they would be competing in this year’s Tether competition with a carbon-nanotube tether.
I also learned that another team is frantically trying to get a carbon-nanotube tether ready for competition too, but can’t say anything more about them now. It will be very cool if they make it - having carbon nanotube tethers face off against each other would say a whole lot about how this art/manufacturing skill is progressing.
So, that’s the summary - more later - I’m on my way to catch a flight home.
One other quick note: Traffic at my blog has hugely spiked this last day and half - more than 10 times what I normally get. People are INTERESTED in a Space Elevator - let’s make it happen!