I can’t wait…

One of the activities we have going on right now at the International Space Elevator Consortium (ISEC) is defining how the thing is actually going to work – with the most detail we can get.  This “Concept of Operations” will then be used to drive Business Plans, plans that can show if/how a Space Elevator can be profitable.

We are now debating several different issues, one of them being will we or will we not have a Space Station attached to the Space Elevator somewhere in LEO?  Of course we would like one, but there is a weight penalty that must be paid if we have it.  It’s yet to be determined whether this is feasible or not.

What would we do with a Space Station?  Well, Space Tourism is the obvious example, but another opportunity has just been brought to my attention.

If you’re Poker fans (like me), you are aware of the many tournaments held each year world-wide.  I think a LEO Space Station would be an ideal location for yet another tournament – we could come with all sorts of interesting names for it (which I’ll leave as an exercise for the reader).  And, it seems, that we won’t be the first location off-earth that will host a Poker event.  CardsChat.com (along with Virgin Galactic) has come up with the outstanding idea of a Poker match between Phil Ivey and Daniel Negreanu – two of the top (if not the top) Holdem Poker players in the world (and now out of the world) today.

Read more about it here.

5 thoughts on “I can’t wait…

  1. Brian Turner

    I can think of lots of uses for a LEO height station. Slingshot into LEO, hard vacuum, cryogenic temps, Basically anything that is currently done on the ISS that does not need zero g. It is also a good place to beam power from without that pesky atmosphere.

  2. Placard


    Apart from the slingshot, the wouldn’t the weight penalty strongly favor a GEO station for those purposes?

  3. dmal

    all launches from all parts of the ribbon would be simplified if there was nothing in the way, right?

    if you want to launch 10 earth satellites in 1 week, you might need to queue them for proper orbit launch. spacing them and launching them would probably be easier if you didn’t have a big inflatable bio environment anywhere on the ribbon.

    A second and different concept that might be an advantage to not having any stations also, is that launching probes and shipments to the moon or mars would also be a lot easier if the climber could just release its payload right off the end of the line, or even shoot off with the payload, like a bola. I’m sure that the ribbon would need to be stabilized, afterwards, but it seems you could make use of centrifugal force for accelerating your launch.

    I’m probably missing something here.

    Also, in addition to the weight of the station, there is the added weight to the climber for significant radiation sheilding. But maybe not needed for trips to a Geo-Station?

    Anyway, what if the ribbon completely severs below the station? That’d be a good launch and so-long-farewell to the inhabitants of that station.

  4. Corwin Shaver

    Why not build an extra three ribbons? Sure it may be costly, but you can build the space station at the end without having to worry too much about tension on the main ribbon, and you already have extra ribbons for new elevators when it comes to traffic.

Comments are closed.