Shuichi Ohno, Chairman of the Japan Space Elevator Association (JSEA) sent me an email about their first test of the Balloon-Tether system that they will be using in their upcoming Space Elevator competition (JSETEC):
Last Monday, our first balloon-tether system experiment took place in Chiba, near Tokyo. We used a 4.5m diameter helium balloon, 50mm seat-belt tether, battery and a climber. The Climber successfully climbed tether up to 40m high. We have received authority to hold the competition.
Next test is with many additional pieces of equipment ( ie. gravity tether tensioner, 3point anchor, more climbers…) and will be held in May.
Ohno-san sent these pictures for us, too. Click on any of them to view a larger version.
Congratulations to Ohno-san and the Japan Space Elevator Assocation!