LaserMotive shows us what 1km looks like

August 30th, 2008

In the latest posting on the LaserMotive blog, a series of pictures are displayed, showing distances of 200m, 400m, 600m, 800m and 1,000m (1km) and gives a very good idea of how far the Climbers will have to travel, a full kilometer, in this year’s Space Elevator Games in order to have a chance at the prize.

Keep in mind that last year, the distance to be travelled was only half the distance shown in the first picture, only 100m.

Great post, LaserMotive - thanks!

On the subject of the upcoming games, readers may have noticed that the timing for these has been changed yet again.  As noted on this blog’s list of Upcoming Events, the Games are now scheduled for some time in November.  We’re still not sure where they’re going to be yet, either.  I know, I know, we all want to know (especially the teams).

We’re all waiting as fast as we can…

Entry Filed under: News / Announcements, Space Elevator Competitions

12 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Gloria  |  September 13th, 2008 at 2:38 pm

    What’s happening with the November Space Elevator games? Every web and link connected to Spaceward is down.

  • 2. Ted Semon  |  September 14th, 2008 at 1:33 pm

    I just checked the Spaceward web site and it was fine, so whatever problem there was, it was temporary.

    The Space Elevator Games are definitely ON, but the timing is still uncertain. We hope to have a resolution of the date in the next couple of weeks.

    Thanks for watching / waiting :)

  • 3. Humber  |  September 19th, 2008 at 2:17 am

    Nice Article!

  • 4. Brian  |  October 31st, 2008 at 6:55 pm

    Whats happening? do we have a time and place for the next challenge?Please let me know. Thanks

  • 5. Pete  |  November 8th, 2009 at 3:34 pm

    A trade off scheme: Attaching a ballon + a small rocket to the space elevator.
    Let the ballon left the elevator to 70Km.
    Ignite the laser guided rocket to relay from there lifting the elevator to 100 Km above ground where the gravity is no more significant.
    Then let elevator starts climbing the ribbon there. We don’t even need ribbon in the initial 100Km. And the strength requirement for the ribbon is greatly relieved.

  • 6. Alberto Enriquez  |  February 3rd, 2010 at 12:58 pm

    Just wondering if anyone’s considered using a deep mining shaft for these tests? The DUSEL (Deep Underground Science & Engineering Lab) now being developed at the old Homstake mine in South Dakota has shafts going to 4,850 and 6,200 feet, or nearly 1.5 km and 1.9 km respectively. Why not race down and up as opposed to up and down?

    I don’t have any information on how wide these shafts are, but if sufficiently wide for the Space Elevator Games, this would provide a far steadier and less energy intensive platform than a helicopter, and could be anchored firmly at both ends. Why it would almost be like . . . a space elevator. ;-)

  • 7. ted  |  March 13th, 2010 at 10:45 pm

    how about a system that used a loop cable like a conventional elevator, with a massive pulley on each end? then just turn one of the pulleys, and away it goes :)

  • 8. Obelisktron--warning: redirection needed, humanity in peril  |  April 30th, 2010 at 10:06 pm

    Hey humans. Could you please start re-directing your campaign efforts to the launch loop instead of the space elevator? The space elevator will not arrive in time to rescue the world from the energy crisis, which will start happening in 2030, as coal reserves start to run out and in 2010, when oil starts skyrocketing again…

    what you need to do, is either build a launch loop, which is well whithin your current capabilities, or, if all else fails, do the tried and true project orion…Both of these would allow cheap delivery of solar sattelites, which could easily supply all of your grid needs, and evne synthetic hydrocarbon needs until you transition to all electric cars over the course of the first half of this century and fusion for the grid in order not to be vulnerable to solar storms (I highly doubt a huge solar flare like the carrington event will happen in that 50 year window, if it does, you can always launch another orion spacecraft..if you can’t, well, then your totally screwed).

    You would only need one orion spacecraft….so, despite the ‘fears’ of nuclear fallout…which is minimal…even if they somehow were..you are just launching one into space…just one spacecraft…But one huge orion spacecraft powered by nuclear explosions would be enough to launch either one or thousands of solar satellites, which could supply all of your grid needs and synthetic hydrocarbons as suggested..

    I would prefer the launch loop, because once constructed, you could continuesly send things up in space at a very affordable price. However, if you get caught up in a bind…I think it makes sense to start preparing an orion right now, so that if you ever do face that gap in the cliff, you sure as hell can go over it.

    So, all you nerdy earthlings on this blog—go and start campaigning…journalist pseudoscientists sci fi geeks…Go and start raising awareness and bring back the huge arm that got mobilized to build the space elevator, to now put its sites on the launch loop.

    its totally whithin your current capabilities. Do it, and stop waiting for a technology that will only appear in the second half of the 21st century.

  • 9. Dan  |  August 6th, 2010 at 12:16 pm

    Like it or not nothing is going to happen without a decent ‘commercial’ infrastructure in space. This, and others, are all large projects requiring the kind of investment/return that only commercial activity can produce. This tech is maturing at a decent rate… so get to supporting commecialization of space or you will find yourselves with a great idea that has no legs.

    We have about 30 years before things are tight enough here on the ground that such ‘investment potential’ won’t be possible to create if it doesn’t already exist. Get on the stick with other things fast or someday you will be telling your grandkids, if you have them, how great it “could have been”.

  • 10. Luther Browning  |  December 20th, 2010 at 5:17 am

    Why try to beam power? The tether is continuous from the Earth to the terminus. Electrical power can be generated from either end and electrical conductors or superconductors can provide power to drive the elevator as needed. Beamed power is something as difficult or more difficult than the tether it self.
    Unless I have my math wrong Zylon fiber has a tensile strength of 180 GPa and a sg of 1.54 so 180/1.54= 116.9, better than required for the project. This fiber is in production and their website is http://www.aramid.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=56&Itemid=94.
    Now all we have to do is lift about 75,000 metric tons of material into Geosynchronous orbit. Did someone mention Orion?

  • 11. Ted Semon  |  December 21st, 2010 at 9:14 pm

    The electrical loss over a 100km tether precludes trying to use it to transmit electricity. Adding boosters / relays, superconductor cable, etc. adds more weight to the system - an unacceptable penalty.

    I don’t know where you got your Zylon numbers from. It has a strength of approx 3 GPa-gm/cc3, an order of magnitude weaker than what we need. So far, only carbon nanotubes look like they may fit the need (and they have a long way to go).

    And, I don’t think we need a fission powered spacecraft to get the material into low-earth orbit. A couple of heavy-lift rocket launches would do the job for a seed ribbon. Once this seed ribbon is in place, it can use itself to lift additional tether material to make it strong enough for commercial purposes.

  • 12. Peter Boorman  |  October 22nd, 2011 at 4:07 am

    Before developing a full space elevator it makes sense to start with a rotating tether system in low Earth orbit. We would then only need to get a payload above the atmosphere without accelerating it to orbital speed, rendezvous with the tether while it is stationary with respect to the Earth surface at its closest approach, and then be accelerated by the tether.
    The tether system would need sufficient mass/angular momentum to be able to achieve this without slowing too much so that its orbit drops too ow. The tether system would need an efficient means of maneuvering to make up for energy transferred to payloads and to allow it to avoid satellites and space debris. This might be through a high efficiency ion drive, solar sails or an electromagnetic drive against the Earth’s magnetic field.
    Advantage is in much lower fuel load for rockets and low speed re-entry.

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