Space Elevator customers

A few days ago, I was interviewed by Jon Udell, he of the Perspectives podcast fame.  The subject was, of course, the Space Elevator.

One of the questions he asked me was “Who would be the potential customers for a Space Elevator?”  This is a common question, of course, and I gave him the “stock” answer; satellite companies, governments (for satellite launches), tourists and other exotic applications, presently unknown.

I bring this up because The Washington Post recently had an article about how many satellite companies were now in, essentially, a “Mark II” phase – they have been through the ringer with previous investments (some of which had worked out and others which had not) and, with this increased experience under their belt, were looking to increase their investments in the satellite arena.

These are companies / Investors who are willing to place these bets at thousands of dollars per pound of payload.  What will these people do when the payload cost drops by an order of magnitude (or more)?  There will be no shortage of customers as I think we’re just scratching the surface…

(Picture from here; I’ll let people know when the interview with me is posted)

2 thoughts on “Space Elevator customers

  1. Andrew Price

    Hmm, I beg to differ on the answer there Ted. Top customers:

    Top 10 container shipping companies in order of TEU capacity, first January 2006

    A.P. Moller-Maersk Group 1,665,272
    Mediterranean Shipping Co. S.A. 1,250,000
    CMA CGM 507,954
    Evergreen Marine Corporation 477,911
    Hapag-Lloyd 412,344
    China Shipping Container Lines 346,493
    American President Lines 331,437
    Hanjin-Senator 328,794
    COSCO 322,326
    NYK Line 302,213


    Andy 🙂

  2. Ted Semon Post author

    Andy – you’re right of course; capacity, capacity, capacity… There will almost certainly be companies who just specify in carrying cargo (most any cargo) up on a Space Elevator. Many in your list may decide to branch out (branch up?)…

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