This afternoon’s presentations started with Akira Tsuchida talking about a new IAA study; “Road to Space Elevator Era”. This will be a follow-on to the recently released IAA report Space Elevators: An Assessment of the Technological Feasibility and the Way Forward. One of they key outputs of this report will be the Space Elevator Prediction Feasibility Index (SEPFI). I am going to be very interested in this – it should be a rigorous engineering review and prediction as to if and when, in the IAA’s opinion, a space elevator can be built.
As part of his presention, Akira also mentioned that the Science Council of Japan defined the Space Elevator project as part of the Master Plan for large research projects – 2014. It is the first step of starting very small research but has recognized Space Elevator as National project. Hopefully this will lead to significant government funding.