The 59th International Astronautical Congress was recently held (Sep 29 – Oct 3) in Glasgow, Scotland.  I have been to Glasgow and other points in Scotland – it is a beautiful place – and would have loved to attended this congress.  But I’m already spending too much money and time on this ‘hobby’ and have to pick my spots… 🙂

However our own Dr. Peter Swan (co-author of Space Elevator Systems Architecture) attended (and presented) and has emailed out these notes from the Congress:

The sessions at the International Astronautical Federation Congress in Glasgow were very successful and exciting with its presentations.  The one I really enjoyed was the reporting on the success / problems of the YES2 tethered Space Mail flight.  Real space tethers with modest success is always a delight to see in our industry. (Note – I blogged about this here).  In addition, we had the 6th annual Space Elevator Luncheon.

The papers that were presented were:

Session I

  • What if? Space Solar Power was Enabled by Space Elevators (this was Dr. Swan’s presentation)
  • Sling-on-a-ring: A realizable space elevator to LEO?

Session II

  • Cost Effective disposal of Geosynchronous Satellites by Means of Tethers
  • Survey of GEO Debris Removal Concepts
  • Space Debris & Space Elevator
  • Mid-Earth Orbit Momentum Transfer Tether for Reduced Space Access Costs
  • Dynamics of a Partial Elevator with Multiple Climbers
  • Tethers as sustainable space transportation: Implications from the YES2 tethered SpaceMail development and flight results
  • Improving Stability of the Space Cable
  • The partial space beanstalk: its applications to space migration and commerce.

There will be one session on Space Elevators in the Korean conference in October of 2009.  As this location is near the activities in Japan, I would hope for much interest and many abstracts turned in prior to the deadline in March.



I have finally made it back from Scotland… what fun and great scenery.  I now know why the Scottish have a mystic feeling about them.  The Ilse of Skye was remarkable and full of stark beauty.

Oh well, the conference over there went well and the topic of Space Elevators kept coming up thanks to the announcement of the Japanese right before the activities.  Many people asked about status and when the space elevator games were being scheduled, so I had a chance to fill them in on the European and US games… as well as the Japanese and European conferences.  Maybe some of them will show up.  The next International Astronautical Federation Congress will be in Korea in Oct 09 and will just be around the corner from the Japanese efforts.  Maybe we can have a great Asian showing at that one.

It sounds like it was a very interesting conference and I look forward to being able to access the proceedings.

As noted above, the 60th IAC will be held in Korea, and it is scheduled for Oct 12-16, 2009.

Thanks Pete!