At the recent Space Elevator Conference, I gave a presentation entitled “Who will build the first, Earth-based Space Elevator”? This was also the title of the presentation which I gave at last year’s SESI conference.
To arrive at a reasonable, defendable answer for this question, I looked at the problem from two different angles:
- What would be the motive for building the first, earth-based Space Elevator
- Who would have the technical capabilities to actually build an earth-based Space Elevator
My conclusion was essentially the same as last year;
- Only the profit-motive would be strong enough to drive the building of the first Earth-based space elevator
- There are 7 ‘entities’ who would be capable (considering a 2025 ‘earliest-build-date) of actually building a Space Elevator
Based on that assumption, I believe that the two most likely probabilities are:
- A consortium of US Companies partnering with the US Government
- A Joint Venture between the Governments of Dubai and India
A third group I picked as a possibility (the ‘dark-horse’) in this race was an effort by the Japanese Government. Based on what we saw at the recent conference, there is the beginnings of a serious effort underway in Japan to make this happen.
For details on why I picked what I did, you can view the presentation here (it’s a pdf file) and for more detailed reasons on why I picked a possible Joint Venture between the governments of Dubai and India, please read my post (‘Emerging Asia’) I put up about this last year.
You heard it here first…