Videos from Japan’s first Space Elevator Games

What does the above screenshot (which I absolutely LOVE) have to do with the Japan Space Elevator Games?  Bear with me…

One of the items which recently popped up into my RSS Reader was a story discussing Japan’s first Space Elevator Game competition (JSETEC).  This competition took place just a couple of weekends ago (August 8th and 9th) and I had previously posted about it (here) and included some pictures that Shuichi Ohno, President of the Japan Space Elevator Association (JSEA) had sent me.

This news story (from – addicted to Japan!) had a video from the competition, a very interesting one which gave a climbers-eye view of the winning entrant.



When I saw this video, I immediately thought of the similar-type video that was shot from the Kansas City Space Pirates’ Climber during the 2007 Video Games.



The video of the climber from the Japan Space Elevator Games was from the winning entrant, WARRSETEAM, a team from Germany.  I think I’ve posted about this team before, but I’m not sure it’s them – when I click on the link in my previous posting to their team website I get the infamous ‘404‘ message.  Anyway, the WARRSETEAM video in this post shows them climbing 120 meters in 25 seconds, about 4.8 meters / second.  To be eligible for the $2 Million prize in the US Space Elevator Games, the climber has to travel 5 meters / second.  Yes, I know, it has to be over a full kilometer and it has to be beam powered (the Climbers in the Japanese Games were battery powered), but it’s very instructive to see what nearly 5 meters / second looks like.  The Climber is zipping right along, no doubt about it…

Anyway, if you go to YouTube and do a search on WARRSETEAM, you see that they have their own channel with 5 videos in it.  The first three show their climber in various stages of development while the other two show competition runs.

Now, to relate this back to the Moose, before I got smart and searched on WARRSETEAM, I first tried using “weltraumaufzug” (the German translation of “Space Elevator”) as my search term and turned up this gem;



This is apparently a German-language news show, which gives a quick overview of several subjects.  One of the was the Space Elevator and Space Elevator Games and they showed a) where the competition is being held this year and b) a photo of the winning USST team from the last Games.  The lead-in to the story was the picture at the beginning of the post.  Next to the moose and his girlfriend is the term “Weltraumaufzug”, which is German for “Space Elevator”.

So you see?  It all relates.  Incidentally, there are several other “Weltraumaufzug” YouTube videos, so I’ve got some more stuff to search.  And it occurs to me that I have the translation of Space Elevator in several other languages so I can do even more searches…

Finally (and totally off topic), I’m adding this blog to my RSS feeds – there is some really cool stuff on it.  They have a video of two teenage girls “popping”.  These girls can dance!


6 thoughts on “Videos from Japan’s first Space Elevator Games

  1. Brian Turner

    4.8 meters per second was touted as a world record. I would assume that all three of the qualified team for the space elevator games have climbers that would top that on battery power. But only on a cable not a ribbon. Are we going to have two records, one for flat tethers and one for round? Or will the bar for the world record get raised soon?

  2. Ted Semon Post author

    Good questions Brian. I’m hoping that your team and LaserMotive and USST can all beat the 4.8 meters/second.

    And, if the real Space Elevator really is going to be a cable within the atmosphere and a tether above it, we’ll need to have Climbers that can handle both types of ‘railways’…

  3. Markus Klettner


    Just to complete your information given on the winning German team at the 1st JSETEC: This team has originated from team “TESLA” of the Scientifc Workgroup for Rocketry and Space Flight (short: WARR) at Technical University Munich that intended to participate in the 2007 games at SLC entering a microwave climber. The official team leader is now Rüdiger Hink, but Andreas Hein and Joachim Sturm, the former leaders, are still coaching and assisting the new team. Andreas Hein will be giving a detailed presentation on their climber entry in Japan at our 3rd SE conference in Luxembourg on Dec 5-6, 2009.

    In addition the WARR team has further improved their original microwave climber, now SE 2.0 (see ), possibly targeting the NASA/Spaceward contest in 2010 or beyond.


    Markus Klettner
    EuroSpaceward A.s.b.l.

  4. Vern McGeorge

    Actually, the bottom of the tether can be round even with climbers that need a flat ribbon. It works as follows.

    1. Wait for a good day (good weather, light winds, etc.).

    2. Reel in the bottom 50km of the tether (with its round cross section) until the bottom of the ribbon reaches the platform. With a 100,000 km tether, this amounts to 0.0005% of the total tether length. Also, the elasticity of the tether is so great, that, in effect, you’re stretching it more than actually pulling it down.

    BTW, 50km is just a wild guestimate plucked out of the air. It could be 10 kn, it could be 200km.

    3. Mount your next climber.

    4. Reel out 50 km of round cable.

    5. Shine your lasers on the climber and start climbing.

    6. Wait 3 days and repeat.

    This operational mode has the advantage that even with full cloud cover over the platform, with a 50 km starting height there will be a wide swatch of ocean from which a laser beaming ship can “see” and power a climber. Finding a hole in the clouds for the power beam should not be a problem.

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