Another Space Elevator Conference is in the books, three very interesting and successful days. There were a lot of highlights and, in no particular order (and just my own opinion, of course) they are;
The attendance of several people from Japan and the Japan Space Elevator Agency (JSEA). They are very, very interested in partnering with ISEC (or someone) to try and turn their Climber competition into a world-wide event. I think this is a great idea, but as always with these things, it takes a “champion”, someone willing to spend the time in the US to actually make this happen. There were some ideas as to organizers floated during the conference and I think more will show up. I hope this happens. Regardless, it was good to see the Japanese contingent. Outside of ISEC, they are the only other organized group, to my knowledge, that is working to advance the cause of the space elevator. The fact that they are all nice people and fun to be around is just an added bonus.
The increase in expertise and skill sets within ISEC. During my four-year term as president, ISEC became a “real” organization; we became a 501c3, elected a Board of Directors, came up with Strategic Plans, began creating ISEC Reports and CLIMB Journals and began to sponsor the ISEC Space Elevator Conference. Dr. Peter Swan became president at last year’s Conference and is really beginning to leverage his network of business, military and aerospace contacts that he has built up in his long and extensive career. People such as Skip Penny, Michael Fitzgerald and Vernon Hall are all veterans of fields that have a direct bearing on being able to actually build a space elevator. Their expertise will help us advance our understanding of a space elevator at a more rapid rate and with more knowledge than had been possible previously. Pete has also brought in other speakers and contacts and has, in general, greatly raised the professionalism and knowledge of the ISEC network.
How well the conference was run. This was the fourth (fifth?) year that David Horn and his network of volunteers has run the conference and it was a very competent job. This year all of the presentations were taped and should be available on our YouTube or Vimeo network, another first. I hope that David continues in this function for the next several years – he does a great job.
I could list more, like the Speech Competition, the well-run workshops, the awesomeness of the Museum of Flight as a Conference Venue, etc., but I think those three were my highlights.
See you in 2015!
(Picture thumbnail is of NBC’s Digital Science editor, Alan Boyle, interviewing ISEC President Dr. Peter Swan. Clicking on this thumbnail, as for all other thumbnails on this blog, will display a full-size picture).