Category Archives: Pictures / Drawings / Animations / Music / Humor / Game


A Space Elevator Poem

Deborah Kolodji has written a poem about the Space Elevator.  She says about her poem:

“Here’s one of my 2007 Rhysling eligible poems which few have seen. It was first published in Encore, an awards publication from the National Federation of State Poetry Societies because it won second place in their annual contest in 2006 in the “Futuristic Award” category.”

You can read the poem here.

Want to buy the Apollo 13 Engine?

The next time I’m in the Los Angeles area, I’m going to visit Norton Sales.  Here, for a quarter-million dollars, you can buy part of the Saturn 5 and, if you’re willing to spend over a million dollars, you can buy the actual Apollo 13 Engine.

Visit the OnOrbit post about this store to see a video of it.

Maybe 50 years from now, you’ll be able to visit this store and buy some used parts from a real Space Elevator.  “Yes, this was part of the original cable, now replaced due to meteorite damage.  It’s only $1,000 per linear foot.  And over here, we have one of the gripper wheel sets from one of the original Climbers.  It’s a steal at only $25,000.”

Oh yeah, oh yeah, oh yeah…

(Picture from the Norton Sales website)

More YouTube Videos…

There are a few more Space Elevator-related videos posted on YouTube that I would like to reference:

First is one from the Civilization IV computer game, showing a sped-up version of a Space Elevator being constructed:


The second is, I think, an animation intended to show how, in the future, space elevator travel will be routine.  At least that’s what I think the lame soundtrack of airline traffic is supposed to portend:



The last two videos are two more postings from the Spaceminers team – entrants into the 2005 and 2006 Space Elevator Games:




And now I think I’m caught up on YouTube vides…

Space Elevator Computer Games and Bungee jumping…

I’ve posted before about how Space Elevators are occasionally components in video games.  In addition to being in the new version of Halo they were also in Ex Machina (though a commenter said that this wasn’t a video game – I don’t really know) and Civilization IV.  I’ve also posted about how people have speculated / joked about Bungee jumping / skydiving from a Space Elevator (here, here and here).

I’ve now discovered that these two have been combined but, unfortunately, not in a readily-available manner.  On the Nuon platform, a game called Freefall 3050 A.D. was released some years ago.  One of the Amazon reviews summed it up thusly:

“Freefall by Total Arkade Software is one of the most unique titles to be released on any platform in recent memory, indeed, titles this far off the mainstream usually are frowned upon. That being said, TAKS has crafted what can best be described as a 360 degree free-falling joyride. As a member of the jump police of 3050 A.D., it’s your job to keep the skies clear of joyriders and trouble-makers, problem is that there are a lot of lunatics out there. Freefalling at top-speed, you must rotate in 360 degrees while blasting and manuevering, taking out targets to complete missions and ‘persuading’ criminals to see things your way. Dynamic control scheme, ground-breaking gameplay & techno soundtrack all contribute to a game that breaks the action shooter mold in every conceivable way.”

This sounds way-cool.  And, now I find a story about a concept created for another XBOX game, called Freefall/Gemini, with a similar theme.  Unfortunately it never made it off the ground.  If it had, my son and I would be battling for time on his XBOX…

The story links to a short video (here) of this proposed game.  The video, especially the music, ranks very high on my cool-o-meter…

(The picture thumbnails are snapshots of the video – click on them or visit the video for a larger version)

Mobile Suit Gundam

Akira Tsuchida, team leader of E-T-C, emailed me to let me know about a new animation series, Mobile Suit Gundam, which is now being broadcast in Japan on Saturday evenings at 7:30pm.  The plot centers around three space elevators (one owned by the Americas and Japan, one owned by Russia, China and India and one owned by Europe and Africa).  The series website has a plot summary, in Japanese of course.  When you plug the plot summary into AltaVista’s Babel Fish Translator, you get the following:

“Western calendar 2307. The fossil fuel was depleted, but the mankind was obtaining the new energy which is substituted to that. 3 these enormous tracked elevators and the large-scale solar power generating system which accompanies that. But, those where benefit of this system can be obtained were just the large country and that ally of part. Three superpower groups which own three tracked elevators. The United States of America was centered, ‘ the union ‘. China, Russia and India were centered, ‘ mankind reformist union ‘. Europe was centered, ‘ AEU ‘. Each superpower group because of dignity and prosperity of oneself, continues the great zero-sum game. So, being 24 centuries, the mankind was yet can become one……. In the world of the fight which does not have such end, the private armament organization which puts out “the elimination of the war with military force” appears. As for their names which own mobile suit “Gundam”, ??????????. Military intervention to all the war behavior which are according to Gundam starts.”

Akira sent me another translation of the plot summary:

“2037 in Christian era.

The human race was obtaining new energy that took the place of it though the fossil fuel dried up. Large-scale photovoltaic generation system according to tree huge orbit elevator. However, it was only a part of large country and the ally that obtained the favor of this system.

Three super power groups that own three orbit elevators.
 ‘Union’: USA, North and South America countries and Japan,
 ‘Human race reformation league’: China, Russia, and India
 ‘AEU’: Europe and Africa
Each super power group continues a considerable zero-sum game with prestige by yourself for prosperity.
The human race had it was not possible to finish uniting into one yet though it became a century the 24th so …….
A private, armed organization to which “Extermination of the war by military power” hangs appears in the world of such an endless fight. Names of men who own movable suit “Gundam” are Sorestalbeing.
The military power intervention to all hostilities by Gundam starts.”

There is also a website which has brief snippets of some of the episodes.

The heros seem to be a cross between the Power Rangers and the Transformers.

So, if you have access to Japanese TV, enjoy!

Thanks Akira…

(The pictures are taken from the video clips.  Click on them for a slightly larger version or visit the website to see them in action.)

30DEC07 – Correction.  I received two email comments on this post from “K Elmer” who informed me that “Just to be correct, the name is Mobile Suit Gundam 00. Mobile Suit Gundam was the first series in the franchise in 1979.”  There is a Wikipedia entry for this particular series and it contains a much more coherent description of it’s plot than I provided.  Just to give you a level of detail contained in this Wikipedia entry, here is an excerpt:

“Mobile Suit Gundam 00 follows four mobile suit pilots termed Gundam Meisters ( ????????? Gandamu Maisut??), sided with Celestial Being. The protagonist is 16-year old Setsuna F. Seiei (???F??????), a quiet, taciturn young man who grew up in the Kurdish Republic, and a Gundam Meister for two years. He pilots the GN-001 Gundam Exia, a high mobility mobile suit effective in melee combat.”

I had no idea… 🙂

Thanks K Elmer!

BBC Documentary on Carbon Nanotubes and the Space Elevator

The BBC Documentary series, “Visions of the Future” recently aired an episode talking about Carbon Nanotubes and the Space Elevator.

Courtesy of the magic of YouTube, this video is now online.  You can tell that this video is slightly dated as it discusses the Space Elevator Game prizes of “half a million dollars” (it’s double that now), but it was made just before the last competition; the teams from DeltaX and LaserMotive make a cameo appearance.


The next generation…

One of the most interesting people at this year’s Space Elevator Games was young Danny Leafblad, a member of the Kansas City Space Pirates team.  He’s one of those kids that’s scary-smart; he can probably do anything he puts his mind to.

As a tribute to him, as I think he’s an excellent representative of the next generation, the generation that will probably be the first to reap the full benefits of a Space Elevator, I’ve put together a short video about him (it’s my first effort in the homemade video field, so please be gentle with your criticism)…

Here’s to you Danny – please figure out a way to get this thing built in the next 10-15 years so I can take a ride on it…


2007 Space Elevator Games – (Entry 58)

I have an exclusive scoop for all of my readers…


Don’t believe me?  Take a look at this thumbnail of a picture provided to me by Marc Boucher from the Space Elevator Reference.  If you click on the thumbnail you will, as always, see a full-size version of the picture.

It’s a picture of USST’s successful qualification climb.  Marc has much better low-light photography equipment than I do, so he was able to capture this picture.  You’ll note that on the right side of the picture (and illuminated by USST’s laser), you’ll see a UFO!  It’s a spy-ship from an Alien civilization.

Now, even though Marc has the better low-light camera, I’m the one who has contact with a super-secret guy who works at a super-secret sub-agency of the super-secret NSA.  These guys listen to everything, as you know.  They are even able to tap into the transmissions of these Aliens.  The aliens, as many people are aware (but our government refuses to acknowledge) have been monitering us for many decades.  But our double-extra-super-secret agency has been monitering the Alien transmissions as well, and have been able to translate them into English.

Following is the transcript (provided by my most-hidden contact who resides in an undisclosed location a safe distance away from Dick Cheney’s shotgun) of the conversation in the cabin of the spy ship plus the transmissions between them and their mother-ship (located in the L5 Lagrange point).

So that you can better understand this transcript, let me explain who the “players” are.  Skronk and Greezle (phonetic translations of their names) are the captain and co-captain of the spy ship (the one captured in the photograph).  Skippy is the commander of the mother-ship.

The transcript begins just before USST’s qualification run.

Skronk: Stupid humans.  They’ll never get laser power-beaming to work.  You need a government to do something like this.  It’s so funny to watch these pathetic creatures try to do this as part of a competition.

Greezle: I agree.  I mean, look at the last attempt at laser power-beaming, just a bunch of smoke…

Skronk: It took 852 plonkers (120,000 earth years) for our government to develop this technology.  I’m so happy that they control the technological development of our civilization.  If we had left it up to our private sector, it would never have happened and we wouldn’t have been to colonize this quadrant of the galaxy.  Hey, you want to hear a joke?

Greezle:  Sure.

Skronk:  What do you call humans who are too stupid to build a Space Elevator?

Greezle:  I don’t know, what?

Skronk:  Normal!!  Hah hah hah!

Greezle: Hah hah hah!

Skronk:  Commander Skippy is such a hoot…

Greezle: So here goes the test – get ready to laugh…

(USST fires off its laser) 

Skronk and Greezle simultaneously:  What the &%$#(&%* was that?

Skronk:  Greezle, did you see what I think I just saw?

Greezle:  I hate to say it, but it looks like the humans have just successfully demonstrated Power Beaming.  Zoom in your equipment for a closer look…

Skronk:  Doing so…   What the %$(&)^% is a “Saskatchewan”?

Greezle:  I don’t know – maybe a candy bar?

Skronk:  Why would a candy bar company be interested in Power-Beaming?

Greezle:  It doesn’t matter.  You know what this means, don’t you?

Skronk:  Yes I do.  We have to contact Commander Skippy immediately and let [him] know the bad news.

(Communications with the mother ship are established)

Skronk: Commander Skippy, I have the unfortunate task of informing you that the humans have just successfully demonstrated laser power-beaming.

Skippy:  Are you sure?  Do you know what this means?

Greezle:  Yes.  It means that the humans are one step closer to building a Space Elevator.

Skronk:  That would be disastrous.  If they ever developed one, well, there goes the neighborhood.

Skippy:  You’re right.  Let’s just be thankful they can’t make tethers out of carbon nanotubes.  If that happened, we’d really be in trouble…

The transcript ends there.  My extra-double-with-a-cherry-on-top-super-secret-agent from the extra-double-super-secret-agency is going to get me a transcript from their monitering of the Tether competion.  I can hardly wait to hear what Skronk and Greezle will say about that!!

So stay tuned – I will keep my readers posted about the latest communications from Commander Skippy, Skronk and Greezle…

Space Elevator video as news item

I found this on the RooTV Australia website.  It’s a short clip discussing the concept of a Space Elevator.  It’s undated, but recent I think.  The most interesting item on the clip was the mention of creating carbon nanotube fibers “just over 3 miles long”.

And sorry, but you have to view the Levitra commercial up front – fortunately, the fast forward button lets you get through it quickly 🙂

Yet more views of the Competition Site

Ben Shelef, CEO of Spaceward, the organization that is putting on the Space Elevator Games, has come up with two additional mockup views of the venue for this year’s Space Elevator Games.  Ben tells me that these views are to scale.

If this is true (and I’m sure it is), it is mind-boggling how high the Climbers are actually going to have to go this year – 100 meters is a long way up there.

If you plan on attending the Games this year, make sure you bring your binoculars or ensure that your camera has a decent telephoto lens!

(Click on the pictures for a larger version)

Wireless power transmission in 1974

Ben Shelef recently sent me the link to this clip.  It’s very cool and is an early harbinger of power beaming technologies we now see being developed in the Space Elevator Games.[youtube][/youtube]

This clip has been around for a while – I vaguely remember seeing a portion of it some time back.  But thank you, Ben, for pointing it out to me so that I can put it up on the blog…

(Older) interview with Brad Edwards

I’ve seen this video before and can swear that I had posted it prior to now, but I’ll be darned if I can find it.  Either I never got around to posting it or have misfiled under the wrong category.

In any event, here it is – an AP story about the Space Elevator.  I don’t know the date, but it was some time ago – it still has Dr. Edwards associated with ISR…[youtube][/youtube]

Space Elevator Presentation from Live Video

This is a generally well-constructed presentation about the possibilities of a Space Elevator, combining many of the SE images floating around the Internet along with pictures from last year’s Space Elevator Games.  They mangled the Carl Sagan quote, and stated (incorrectly, unfortunately) that NASA was interested in the idea of a Space Elevator, but other than that, it was well done.

Based on a comment made in the presentation, about how the Space Elevator Games, with $150K in Prize Money had occurred “earlier this month”, I have to conclude this was posted in October of last year.  However, it just popped up in my Search Engines so I’m linking to it now.

(Update: 16 July, 2007 – The video no longer appears on the website.  However, it is now available via YouTube)


Space Elevators and the angry dwarf (planet)

Well, most of the info about Space Elevators in this humorous podcast is correct, but I’m not so sure about the comparison to bullroarers.  If you can make it through the music, the interview at the end with angry dwarf (planet) is pretty funny…

(Photo of Bullroarers from Budamurra Aboriginal Corporation – really – click on it for a larger version)

Liftport photos now on flickr

Michael Laine of Liftport fame (hey, that rhymes!) has posted a plethora of photographs on the flickr website.  You can access his “main page” here, and then thumb through the multiple pages of posted photographs.

In the main stream of photographs, many of them are hardware-related, others are “travel photos”, taken, I assume, while they were traveling to-from test sites.  There are other streams of pictures; the most interesting, to me, were the ones of the carbon nanotube furnace.

Dave Barry comments on the Space Elevator

Search engines are weird sometimes; yesterday they found this Howard Lovy June 27, 2004 blog entry on Space Elevators.  It’s an interesting blog entry in and of itself and it links to a video I hadn’t seen before, an interview with Brad Edwards.

But the real prize in this blog entry was its mention of a Dave Barry column on the Space Elevator.  The link to the column doesn’t work anymore, but I hunted around and found an archived copy of it – you can view it here.  It’s typical Dave Barry stuff – pretty funny…

Next Stop Space Elevator

At the Universe Blog, the author opines about the paradigm shift in thinking required to bring about a Space Elevator – and the resulting paradigm shift that it would make.

The line that grabbed me the most was this one; “Think about it. No thunderous rocketry. No risky landings. Rockets are so expensive — and launching them so damn burdensome — that they will probably always keep the democratization of space travel at bay.”

Is that really true?  Lately, I’ve started paying some attention to the private (enterprise) rocketry crowd and I hear claims that they think they will be eventually be able to bring payloads to LEO for “hundreds of dollars per kilogram”.  Them’s Space Elevator numbers…

Can they do it?  I don’t know.  I do know that I’ve been unquestioningly accepting the fact that “rocket launches will always be expensive and always be dangerous”, a mistake I don’t intend to keep on repeating.  NASA and government rocket launches are expensive and risky, that doesn’t mean they are intrinsically so.

Incidentally, the pen and ink concept drawing of an Ocean-based Lift platform (from the LiftPort archives) that is included in the article is really quite lovely.

Of course, just because something is done with private enterprise in control (or at least involved), doesn’t guarantee that things will be successful, as this recent video of a commercial Sea Launch Zenit 3SL gone bad shows;
I found it ironic that they cut to the Sea Launch logo immediately after the blast; it seemed like they were saying “This disaster brought to you by Sea Launch”…

Dr. Bryan Laubscher to appear on the Space Show

Dr. Bryan Laubscher is scheduled to appear on Dr. David Livingston’s “The Space show” tomorrow, Tuesday, January 23rd, from 7:00pm to 8:30pm, Pacific time.

According to the email I received from The Space Show’s email list, “Dr. Bryan Laubscher is our guest. We will be discussing the space elevator, the coming SEC 2007 along with the space elevator conference.”

You can hear the show live by going to The Space Show website.  If you miss the show, it will also be available by podcast afterwards (I’ll post a link to it when its up).

This should be a great interview and I encourage everyone to tune in.  Dr. Livingston also takes phone and email questions during the show, so if you have a question for him, this is a great time to ask.

Video of USST’s First-place climb in the 2006 Space Elevator Games

The video from this year’s first place climb by USST is now on YouTube.
Thanks to Clayton Ruszkowski from the USST team for the tip – and, once again, congratulations to Clayton and the rest of the USST team for their very impressive performance this year.  Team USST finished first in both the 2005 and 2006 Space Elevator games and have to be considered the early, heavy favorites for the 2007 Games.
A half-million dollars (US Dollars no less) would buy an awful lot of Canadian Beer…

More Space-Elevator themed videos on YouTube

Three new videos of possible interest to Space Elevator enthusiasts have been posted on YouTube.

The USST qualifying run at this year’s Space Elevator Games.  It’s a longer version than the one I had posted earlier.
A promo for LiftPort – pretty cool in my opinion.  For some reason it makes me think of Fantasia.
A trailer for a new movie, PX.  It’s a bit cheesy, IMHO…

Who knew?

Who knew that 1) Michael Laine, President & Founder of Liftport, is a descendant of Meriwether Lewis (of Lewis & Clark fame) and 2) LiftPort had an entry in the recently completed Space Elevator Games?  I’ll accept the ancestor item, but, unless it was a super-secret stealth entry, they did not have an entry in the games.

Both bits of info (along with note that Michael will be speaking tomorrow at the Bainbridge Performing Arts Playhouse) can be found in this article.

Click on the thumbnails for (slightly) larger versions…

New YouTube Space Elevator videos

Several new Space-Elevator themed videos have been posted over at YouTube.  Most, though not all, are from or related to the just-completed Space Elevator games.

This must be an older video, and it uses some of the ISR Space-Elevator video footage, but some of it was new for me;

This video was taken of the Climber Work area, either before or during the competition.

This is a video of the USST team during a qualification attempt.  You have to turn your head sideways to view it.  If someone knows how to change its orientation, please let me know…

This is a video of part of the University of Michigan’s MClimber historic rise to the top of the tether, including a very bad pun at the end.

This is a video of one of the SpaceMiners climber, one we didn’t see in this years competition.  This video is of the steering mechanism for a SpaceMiners climber.

Another conceptual video of how a Space Elevator might look.

A 5+ minute German documentary on the Space Elevator and TurboCrawler.


Finally, here’s a video trailer from the XPrizeCup.


Space Elevator coin up for auction

Over at the Mondolithic Sketchbook, they note they are now auctioning off Space Elevator-themed coins at eBay.

As noted on the description, the coins are pure (.999) silver and are being auctioned off with a starting bid of $75.00.

Click on the thumbnail at left to view a larger version.


Some may not know that the picture depicted is based on some work they’ve done earlier.  Click on the thumbnail at left to view a larger version.



I’m sure these coins are not “legal tender”, but both LiftPort and Elevator2010 could advertise that they would accept these in payment, LiftPort for Lift Tickets and Spaceward for a T-shirt or something 🙂

Recens – The Climber we never saw…

There’s an old joke that goes something like this; “What do you call someone who speaks three languages?  Answer – Trilingual.  What do you call someone who speaks two languages?  Answer – Bilingual.  What do you call someone who speaks one language?  Answer – American.”

I was reminded of this joke by a recent email conversation I had with Elisenda Bou from the Spanish Recens team.  In her emails to me, she apologized for her “English”.  I pointed out to her that “her English” was good enough to allow us to converse and was, in any event, much better than “my Spanish.”

As followers of this year’s Space Elevator games know, Recens supposedly had their Climber “lost” by UPS somewhere between the shipping point in Spain and the receiving point in Las Cruces, New Mexico (the particular story I heard was that it was “lost in Kentucky”).  I had written earlier that I was very upset with UPS for losing this Climber – how badly does this reflect on American competence when one of our corporations does something like this?  As with many stories like this, however, it is not always as it first appears.  It seems the problems started in Europe when, upon the advice of their Cargo Agent, Recens declared the value of their shipment to be no more than $100.00 (to try and bypass any customs issues).  The package was opened in Germany and was worth obviously more than that and this is where the trouble began.  According to Elisenda, this is where their Climber is now.  I wonder how the story of “lost in Kentucky” got started?  Or, maybe it made it that far and then got shipped back to Germany?  Anyway, as I have unwittingly passed along something (UPS lost the Climber in Kentucky) that now appears to be untrue, I wanted to post the facts as I now understand them.

In any event, Recens seems to have taken their setback very graciously and worked with USST and other teams (see Matt Abrams posting over at the Starclimber blog) in order to be a positive force at the just-concluded Space Elevator games.  Elisenda did confirm that they temporarily purchased the USST climber so that they could share the resource they did have at the Games, their spotlights.

Elisenda also emailed me some pictures of their Climber, shown below.  Recens prime sponsor was a museum in Spain and so their Climber, when it’s returned to them (not the USST Climber) is going to be shown at this museum, first at their Madrid location and then at their Barcelona location.

Click on the picture thumbnails to view a larger version.













Day 2 (Part 12)

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 !!






Day 2 (Part 10) !

Actually, TurboCrawler made the next attempt and they, too, succeeded in getting all the way to the top.  Their time was 3 minutes and 27 seconds.

So, now we have four teams that have made it all the way to the top; University of Michigan’s MClimber (who was first – 6 minutes and 40 seconds), USST (who have been the fastest so far (58 seconds), LiteWon (2 minutes and 20 seconds on their second attempt) and now TurboCrawler (3 minutes and 27 seconds).

UBC-Snowstar is next up…

Day 2 (Part 6) !

No joy for the German team either.  They got onto the tether in good order and, when light was applied, seemed to move up a few feet pretty quickly.  But then they had controller problems and had to remove their climber from the tether.  Hopefully they’ll try it again later on.

Pictures of the attempt below.  As always, click on the thumbnails for a larger version.

Making adjustments on the tether.




Turbo Crawler, illuminated with the 18,000 watt spotlight.




Lights for TurboCrawler.  The big one is 18,000 watts and the smaller is 12,000 watts.




LiteWon up next.

Day 2 (Part 5) !

UBC-Snowstar failed in it’s attempt to climb the tether.  They got on the tether in good order.  When they first loosed the brake and attempted to climb, you could see the wheels on the climber turn, but it didn’t move.  They clamped it back to the ribbon and made an adjustment to tighten the grip.  When they tried it again, it did go up a few feet, but you could hear the wheels/gears slipping.  So, they’re done, at least for now.

Below are some pictures from the UBC-Snowstar attempt.  Click on the thumbnails for a larger version.

Getting on the tether.




Steve Jones tightening the grip.




Snowstar illuminated with the spotlights.





TurboCrawler is up next.

Day 2 (Part 4) !

The competition tether is now up and the initial order of teams has been set.  First up will be the UBC-Snowstar team.  Second will be the German TurboCrawler team.  Third will be the High School LiteWon team.  Fourth will be the Kansas City Space Pirates.  Fifth will be the USST team.  The University of Michigan MClimber, the team that made the only climb yesterday, is set as an alternate.  If one of the scheduled teams is not ready to go, MClimber will get their slot.

The winds are still light, but the tether is already twisting in the wind.  It’s not whipping around like it was yesterday, though, so let’s keep our fingers crossed.

An update to the Microwave team test.  They are going to have to demonstrate that they can successfully climb the 30 foot Qualification tether before the effort is going to be made to move the 200 foot Competition tether to the fairgrounds.

Day 2 (Part 3) !

Well, bad (and good, I think) news.  We’ve received word that the airport will not allow any Microwave-powered competitors to run.  This means that “Punktaurus” is not going to be allowed to compete at the airport.  That’s the bad news.  But “Plan B” has been put into effect; after today’s competition is completed, the competition tether is supposed to be moved to the Fairgrounds (where the teams are “camped”) and the Microwave team will be allowed to run there.  So that’s the good news.

An obvious question is why did this restriction show up now?  My response is “I don’t know”.  That’s going to be part of the post-mortem, I’m sure.  Right now, it’s just important that the microwave people be given every chance to make an attempt and it looks like that’s going to happen…