Day 2 (Part 12)

October 22nd, 2006

The Tether Challenge ended just about a half-hour ago and NASA’s Prize money for the Tether Challenge is safe for another year.

Four teams entered the competition; Astroaraneae, UBC, Centaurus Aerospace and Bryan Laubscher.  Lots were drawn to determine who would face who in the two semi-final qualifying matches.  Centaurus Aerospace drew Astroaraneae and UBC drew Bryan Laubscher.

Tethers from Centaurus Aerospace and Astroaraneae were both weighed and both came in under the 2 gram limit.  They were each then mounted on the Tether Pull machine and measured for length.  While Astroaraneae met the 2 meter minimum, Centaurus Aerospace did not and was disqualified.

Tethers from UBC and Bryan Laubscher were then both weighed and they, too, both came in under the 2 gram limit.  They were each then mounted on the Tether Pull machine and measured for length.  Unfortunately, neither team met the 2 meter minimum and were both, therefore, disqualified.  So, Team Astroaraneae won the competition by default.

There was much discussion and unhappiness over the disqualifications, and that topic deserves a separate post.

in the spirit of competition, however, tethers from UBC and Bryan Laubscher were matched against each other in a “non-title” match.  Team UBC won when Bryan’s tether parted at 531 pounds.  UBC then matched it’s tether against one from Centaurus Aerospace in another friendly competition.  Centaurus won when the UBC tether parted at about 880 pounds.

Astroaraneae then faced off against the house tether.  The house tether won, but the Astroaraneae tether didn’t part until 1335.9 pounds of pressure was applied - a very impressive performance.  This beat last year’s winner by about 100 pounds.

An attempt was then made to break the house tether.  It was matched against a high-quality rope, not as competition, but just to see at what level the house tether parted at.  This number would then be a factor in next year’s competition.  Unfortunately, the house tether proved to be stronger than the machine!  The aluminum rollers holding the tethers actually began to force the block holding them outward at one end and the measurement had to be halted.  They’re going to have to come up with an alternative method to measure these.

So, congratulations go out to Michael Remington and his Team Astroaraneae!  Michael and his team promise to be back next year with an even stronger composition.

Below are some pictures of the Tether Challenge.  As always, click on the thumbnails to view a larger version of the picture.

Ben Shelef explaining the rules before competition began.






Ben hooking up the signal lights.  These lights were “on” for each tether during the pull.  When a tether broke, it’s light would go out - the other light signifying the winner.



The “Tether Torture Machine” after being beaten by the House Tether.  Note the block holding the left side of the roller - it’s being forced outward.  Not good !



Michael Remington of Team Astroaraneae.  Congratulations again !!






Entry Filed under: Pictures / Drawings / Animations / Music / Humor / Game, News / Announcements, Space Elevator Competitions

11 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Personal Spaceflight &raq&hellip  |  October 22nd, 2006 at 8:49 am

    […] The Space Elevator Games, comprised of the tether and beamed power competitions, was scheduled to end Saturday afternoon as the X Prize Cup wound down. However, because of scheduling and logistical issues, the event has been extended. The tether competition took place Saturday night at the county fairgrounds, where the climber qualifications took place earlier in the week; none of the four competitors won any prize money. This morning two teams that use microwaves to power their climbers will make a shot at winning the beamed power competition. They could not make their attempts at the airport during the Cup since their microwave rectennas were prohibited from the airport grounds. […]

  • 2. Raeval Evans  |  October 22nd, 2006 at 10:18 am

    So, are there are any final results on the space elevator. My husband is on the USST team and I am just wondering if they still qualified and if they are considered the winners. I think the games were amazing. All teams did awesome. What a wonderful experience for all involved. Thanks Ted for covering the games, so those of us at home can still know what is going on down there in Lus Cruses, New Mexico.

  • 3. Steve Isakson  |  October 22nd, 2006 at 10:55 am

    Just out of curiosity, I assume you went ahead and broke the Centaurus tether as well (against the rope I presume). Do you have the breaking point for that one as well?


  • 4. Ted Semon  |  October 22nd, 2006 at 10:43 pm

    Raeval, see my latest post - no official winner this year.

    Steve, no, they didn’t break the Centaurus tether. I’m not sure why - perhaps just an oversight or perhaps their team didn’t want to tip off anyone as to how strong their tether is. Or, perhaps they had planned to do so once they had a measurement of the house tether. I’ll try and find out and let everyone know. I, too, would have liked to know how strong it is.

  • 5. Stu Savory  |  October 26th, 2006 at 7:02 am

    Are these guys professionals? They must have known about the minimum tether length of 2 meters well in advance. So bringing a shorter tether is kinda dumb! Or did the organisers add a 2m rule (sic!) at the last minute?

  • 6. Brad Gun  |  October 16th, 2007 at 4:13 am

    Good news guys
    I here I with you

  • 7. 2007 Space Elevator Games&hellip  |  October 19th, 2007 at 7:32 pm

    […] year’s tether machine was horizontal.  It had some problems (see my post from last year on this subject).  The machine has been redesigned and is now vertical in nature.  […]

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