Just in the past few minutes, the third tether entry in the Strong Tether competition confirmed that they will compete. A picture thumbnail of the nanotube loop being entered is included in this post (click on it for a full-size version).
As you can see, this has little in common with the meter-sized loops from previous competitions. The Spaceward Foundation changed the rules this year to encourage more participation – and with three, confirmed entries, all of the carbon nanotubes, I think I can say it succeeded.
Prize levels are different, depending on the weight of the entry and it’s specific strength. The different types of entries have been a challenge for Spaceward in adapting their “Tether Torture Rack” to them, but they have adapted as necessary.
And now, full disclosure on my part. The entry picture in this post is from Odysseus Technologies, a company I have invested in. So, I will admit to some bias in rooting for this particular entry to win ?.
However, the important thing is that SOMEONE wins, because if they do, this means that the state-if-the-art in this field has been advanced, and, as the lack of strong enough material to build a Space Elevator is the ‘long pole in the tent’, a winner would mean that the day a Space Elevator can actually be built becomes more real.
Still no details on uStream – I’ll post that as soon as I have it, promise…