It’s ‘fire season’ in California / western US and that has bad consequences besides the obvious. For the Climber / Power-Beaming competition of the Space Elevator Games, we need a helicopter to hold up the racetrack. All of the helicopters are now being used to fight these fires so none are available for our testing.
So, we’re weather-dependent again… If it gets really rainy where the fires are burning, then, hopefully, the helicopter we want will free up. Until then, we’re all waiting as fast as we can…
A couple of the teams have posted updates.
Brian Turner, captain of the Kansas City Space Pirates, sent me this email a few days ago:
This Fortune Small Business Magazine has a nice article about the competition. I have not been able to figure out if it is in the print edition just yet. It is online at http://money.cnn.com/2009/08/13/smallbusiness/space_elevator.smb/index.htm?postversion=2009081407
As for the competition date. The testing with the new helicopter looks to get slated for the end of fire season. Apparently most helicopters of the size we need are reserved for that work this time of year. So we are looking at an end of Sept. date at the soonest.
I have been using the extra time for getting caught up on work and family time. Doing things I used to take for granted like mowing my own lawn and changing light bulbs. We have also been working a bit on improving the reliability of the climber system.
KC Space Pirates
And, on the LaserMotive Blog, Tom Nugent has updated us with this;
As you probably know by now, the Power Beaming competition was delayed again due to problems with helicopter operations. It seems that the earliest the competition can now happen is late September or October. We’re staying in close contact with Spaceward to keep up with developments, and taking advantage of the extra time to tweak our system. We’re also taking it easy – everybody had been working long, hard hours leading up to the competition, and now we need to rest and reacquaint ourselves with our families while we have some time to breathe…
There’s more – check out Tom’s blog post for the full story…
Finally, USST did post their summary of how the testing went at Dryden, too. They’ve got some good pictures and it is well worth checking out.
(Picture of California fire status (the ‘Lockheed fire’) from here – click on it for a larger version)