Over at the Space Elevator Reference, they are reporting that USST did not win the climber prize this year, so I guess the problems they had on the descent were enough to disqualify them (when I have or find a more complete explanation of exactly what the problem was, I’ll either report it or point readers to it). Nevertheless, their climb was quite impressive.
Even more impressive is that they used their second choice of power supply to power their Climber. They had originally planned to launch via laser power, but couldn’t get their laser to work properly at the Games, so they used spot lights instead. Even that was enough to drive them up to the top of the tether in prize-winning time. I’m sure they’ll be putting in more effort into having a ready laser for next year. And, as it’s envisioned that a “real” space elevator will be laser-powered, this can’t but help move the effort along.
A side note on the USST effort; as I noted on an earlier posting, they made a deal with the Spanish Team, Recens (and perhaps TurboCrawler – I’m trying to verify that) to use their spotlights to power their climb. Recens, as readers know, were the victim of a major UPS snafu – UPS lost their climber, which they had shipped from Spain, somewhere in Kentucky.
Recens had promised to donate their climber to a local Spanish museum when the games were over, but as the climber was lost, they were in danger of being unable to fulfill that promise. It was announced during the Games that USST sold their climber to Recens (rumoured to be for the princely sum of 1 (one) US Dollar) and that Recens was going to take that climber back to Spain to donate to the museum. So, all-in-all, a good deal for everyone involved.