Daily Archives: October 31, 2007

View from a Climber

One of the things which was hoped to have happened this year was cameras mounted on the climbers (or at the top of the tether) to show a different perspective of a Climb.

For whatever reason, it didn’t happen with the exception of one climb from the KC Space Pirates which had a camera mounted on the Climber.  It’s very reminiscent of those cameras that are put on the Shuttle when it launches (though not to the same scale, of course).  Brian Turner from the Space Pirates put this video on YouTube – it’s mega-cool…

LaserMotive wraps it up

LaserMotive was one of two Laser-powered teams in this year’s games.  I had great hopes for their performance, but alas, things did not work out well for them.  I’ll be posting more about them in the future (along with some videos and pix I have).

This is from the LaserMotive blog:

“Back From Utah, and Recovering

The entire LaserMotive team is back from Utah. Equipment is safely stowed, and everyone is working to fight off sleep deprivation and various illnesses that have cropped up (probably due to the aforementioned sleep deprivation). No one won this year’s competition, which means that next year the prize purse will be $900,000.

We’re disappointed that we weren’t able to show the world the power of our system. A detailed analysis of what happened will have to wait for another time, but the brief summary is that our system was working before we left Seattle, and we demonstrated it working again during the first qualifying run on Wednesday (10/17). We then made adjustments to the on-board electronics for Thursday’s attempt, but those changes prevented the motor controller from working properly the first time Thursday night. More frustrating, the vehicle tried to climb on our second attempt Thursday but due to miscommunication and lack of visibility, the person holding the belay line wound up pulling both the up and down directions and held the vehicle in place so that it couldn’t climb (he was standing outside our safety curtain and couldn’t see in, and given that it was midnight and rainy, it was difficult to figure out the problem on the fly). Such errors are what happens for a team that hasn’t entered the competition before and hence hasn’t had enough time to practice. Next year we will, of course, be much more practiced.

Bad weather prevented any climbs on Friday and Saturday, and just as we were getting ready to mount the ribbon for a climb on Sunday, winds forced Spaceward to take down the crane. We then had to pack up our system for people to get home Monday for their other jobs.

Now that we have some time, I will soon post the qualifying video we submitted to Spaceward at the beginning of October (I need to compress it for YouTube).

I want to thank the entire team, their families, and all of the other volunteers (including Howard Tayler and his friend Tim) who helped us out at the event. As we figure out our plans for the future over the next few weeks, I will try and post more information.”

Marc Boucher appears on The Space Show

Almost everyone who is interested in Space Elevators and is at all Internet-savvy knows the website The Space Elevator Reference.  This site is the original Space Elevator site and remains a “must-visit” for anyone who is interested in the subject.

Marc Boucher is the author of this site (as well as others, most notably, IMHO, SpaceRef.com – a site I’ve written about several times before – if you’re not already signed up for their daily alerts/news, you should be).  One of the many good things which happened to me at the recent Space Elevator Games was the opportunity to meet and work with Marc.  He and I had corresponded a bit over the past year, but I’d never met him before this year’s Games.

Marc was the person responsible for the webcams at this year’s Games (thank you Marc) as well as a number of notable photos posted on the Space Elevator Reference website.  If you haven’t visited this site and seen Marc’s coverage of the games, you’re missing a treat.

He was also interviewed yesterday (the 30th) by Dr. David Livingston on the Space Show.  Dr. Livingston does a very thorough job on biographies – here is an excerpt from Marc’s bio…

“Marc Boucher is an entrepreneur, technologist, explorer and bon vivant. He came into his own when spurred on by his brother, he decided to start his first business in 1991 and hasn’t looked back since. Boucher is the founder of aTerra Technologies, co-founder of SpaceRef Interactive, co-founder of the Mars Institute and has ideas about starting other new ventures. aTerra Technologies focuses on Internet technologies, in particular data gathering and aggregation, vertical search, web development and is best known for developing original content properties and web crawlers…In June of 2000 SpaceRef announced it had licensed SpaceRef content to the Discovery Channel. Today SpaceRef is one of the leading online space news sites comprising 14 web sites in its network and growing. SpaceRef has also begun to modestly sponsor research by first donating the Arthur Clarke Mars Greenhouse to the Haughton-Mars Project (HMP) in 2002. In addition SpaceRef has been managing webcams for the HMP since the summer of 2000. Boucher himself has had the pleasure to participate in the HMP as an Exploration Research Co-Investigator for five field seasons and has been to the high-Arctic base three times, once in the summer of 2000, then 2002 and in 2005. The Mars Institute is a non-profit research institute co-founded by Boucher in the fall of 2002 at the World Space Congress in Houston.”

His interview is quite interesting and is well worth listening to.  It can be found here.

It was very nice to meet you and work with you Marc – here’s hoping that we’ll be working events together in the future.  And, thank you so much for your photo showing proof positive that aliens were monitoring the Games…