Daily Archives: October 18, 2007

2007 Space Elevator Games – (Entry 40)

LaserMotive did not succeed in this qualification run.  They had many problems, but at the end, they had a problem with the motor arming in the climber – they couldn’t get it to happen.

This system was massively complex.  They took their alloted half hour, plus the next (which was open), but still couldn’t get it going.

What a shame.

Click on the thumbnail for a larger version of the picture.

2007 Space Elevator Games – (Entry 38)

I’ve not written a lot about the laser-powered teams until now.  Most of the attention has been focused on the solar teams and making sure that they could find conditions that they could run in.  And, in truth, it’s just neater to video something which is climbing on the ribbon rather than on a workbench.

USST is one of the two laser-powered teams in this year’s Games.  Their laser operates at 808 nanometer wavelength.

The thumbnail is a picture of their climber.  Click on it for a larger version. 

The video is a copy of one they kindly gave me.  It shows a test of their laser.  It’s shining on a welding cloth at a distance of 59 feet.  You can the laser being turned on and then being focused in the video.  It’s quite impressive.

2007 Space Elevator Games – (Entry 37)

Here is a video of UBC-Snowstar’s successful qualifying run this morning.  You’ll note that they DID reach the top of the ribbon, successfully engage the stop mechanism and return under power.

This was their fourth attempt, the source of my comment “Maybe four’s a charm?” at the very beginning of the video.

Though their Climber didn’t travel as fast as people would have liked, the weather was quite cloudy and they did very well under the circumstances.

Congratulations UBC-Snowstar!

2007 Space Elevator Games – (Entry 36)

Here are couple of videos of E-T-C’s attempts to qualify this morning.  They went first, followed by UBC-Snowstar, Technology Tycoons, KC Space Pirates (for a practice run as they are already qualified) and then went again.  The first video is one of the climbs in their first set of attempts while the second video is one of the climbs in their second set of attempts.

They used a combination of smaller spotlights placed directly underneath the climber and two larger spotlights placed off to the side and angled toward the underside of the climber.  I have to remark about the smaller spotlights.  They wanted to be able to simulate a simultaneous “On” switch for these 8 spotlights.  What they did is cover them with some aluminum covers (looking remarkably like pie plates, though I don’t know what they are).  They had strings attached to them and, on signal, four people would each pull the strings to take their “pie plates” off the spotlights, letting them beam up to the climber.  Pretty cool 🙂



It’s truly a shame they didn’t qualify.  I went looking for some of their team members a little while ago to ask what happened, but I think they’ve gone home.  I’ll catch up with them tomorrow or Saturday.

2007 Space Elevator Games – (Entry 34)

I was waiting to record one of the qualification runs and who did I see?  Michael Laine of Liftport.  I went over to say hello – he’s looking hale and healthy.

Markus Klettner of EuroSpaceward joined our conversation – and tried to talk me into coming to the European Space Elevator Games next year.  I’d sure love to – I hope I can talk my wife into it. 🙂

Michael told me that he has a couple of announcements to make – more than that he doth not say…

(Click on the thumbnail for a larger version of the picture)

2007 Space Elevator Games – (Entry 33)

A brief update for today – videos to follow:

The weather has been partly sunny, cold, but almost no wind.  Ideal conditions for the Laser and Microwave teams, but none of them have been ready to go.

E-T-C, powered by spotlights, made numerous attempts to qualify.  Unfortunately they did not succeed.  I haven’t gone to them yet to ask them for a post-mortem, but I will later on.

Both the Technology Tycoons and UBC-Snowstar DID qualify today.  Neither team was able to run to the top of the ribbon, but cloud conditions prevented all but a fraction of the sunlight reaching their mirrors.  Because this was a “weather-related handicap”, they were adjudged to have qualified. (see correction below)

The KC Space Pirates also made another run.  They used more mirrors than they had in their qualification run and generally made this a practice pass.

We’re shut down now for a few hours while the 400′ crane is moved into place.  I don’t know if anyone is going to run on it or not, but we’ll see.  I think we’ll also have the 100′ crane operational too.

I also don’t know the status of the Microwave or Laser teams.  We’ll find out in the next couple of hours.  If they don’t succeed in qualifying today, I’m afraid they’ll be out of the competition.

More later…

Correction – stupid me.  UBC DID reach the top of the ribbon, succesfully engaged with the Stop plate and made a controlled descent.  I have it on tape (and am uploading it to YouTube.  Sorry, UBC team, sorry, sorry, sorry)…

2007 Space Elevator Games – (Entry 32)

Here’s the story on yesterday’s “provisional” qualification runs.  Today is the last day that teams are allowed to qualify to run in the Prize Money competition.  If the weather on Thursday (today) had been as bad as it has earlier in the week, then yesterday’s runs were the qualification ones (and everyone “qualified”).  However, it’s looking today like the weather may give us a bit of a break.  It’s overcast (bad for the solar teams), but the wind has died down (good for all teams).

The 100′ crane is here and they’re beginning to hook up the equipment to it.  With any luck, we’ll be getting in some “real” qualification runs today.

In the meantime, here are the videos of the “contingency qualification runs”.  I’ll post them in the order they provisionally qualified…

First of all is UBC-Snowstar.  They made two runs.  I missed the first couple of seconds of the first run, but I have the rest of it plus all of the second one.


Next was the Technology Tycoons.


They were followed by the McGill Space Elevator team.  I was particulary glad to see their climber perform well considering the very nasty accident it (and they) experienced on the way here.


Next ran E-T-C, the joint Japanese-American team.  You’ll note that they were the only ones who ran with their solar panels.  Teams had an option to do this or not for this provisional qualification run.  E-T-C was the only one who elected to do so.


E-T-C was followed by USST.


LaserMotive was next up.


Finally Centaurus made their run.


(18OCT07 – update.  Oops, I inadvertently posted the E-T-C video twice (once where the USST video went).  This has been fixed.  Thanks to the readers who pointed it out.)