18 Days and Counting !

Ben Shelef of Spaceward and Elevator2010 gives us the latest goings-on for the upcoming Space Elevator Games.  Lots of info here – be sure to read it all. 

Hello folks, and greetings from Elevator Central.

In this issue:

– I&Q week – the place to be.
– Status report.
– Sponsorship opportunities at the games.
– Volunteers for Las Cruces.
– Special thanks.

* I&Q week

Probably the most interesting part of the games this year will not happen during the competition itself, but during the week leading to it.  In this week, we will set up a little “Olympic village”, at the county fairgrounds next to the airport. The purpose of this week is for the teams to assemble and integrate their Space Elevator climbers with our track infrastructure.  Since many of the teams are driving to the competition in RVs, the Space Elevator village will take on a very special character – this is where people from all over the world, who have spent the last year pursuing the same dream, will get a chance to meet for the first time and work together towards making that dream come true. We expect some rivalry, of course, but as one of the team members expressed himself in an email not too long ago, the real competition is with the skeptics out there. Based on our experience with the teams of last year, this will be a very special time.  We want this to become the beginning of a yearly Space Elevator tradition where the Space Elevator community gets together to exchange ideas.

I&Q week (Integration and Qualification) will also determine which teams are good enough to participate in the competition itself.  In order to qualify, the teams have to complete a 30′ ascent at a quarter of the competition minimum speed – slightly less than 1 foot per second.  We wish all 12 teams the best of luck!

* Status report

With 12 climber and 4 tether teams remaining in the running, the competition is promising to be a high-octane event.  We don’t want to spill too many beans, but let’s just say that from what we already know, Ken Davidian from NASA’s Centennial Challenges program had better get these large cardboard checks printed nice and pretty…   and get a pen to sign them!

Climber row, our 2-day Space Elevator museum at the X-Prize Cup, is shaping up beautifully – 200′ long, 30′ wide, and 30′ tall, it will barely be large enough able to contain the climbers, many of which span more than 15′ in diameter. The race track is coming along nicely too, with help from Dave Carty (the same guy that created the Space Elevator multimedia CDs). Roger Gilbertson of the bay area robotics society has agreed to be our MC, and will be narrating the event and interviewing our guests throughout the two competition days.

* Sponsorship opportunities

We have been shy so far about getting sponsorship for the games, frankly, because we did not know how well the competition will shape up. (Rather go unsponsored than not deliver on what we promise – right?) Well – we are now very confident that the competition will be spectacular, so are opening up sponsorship opportunities.  If you or your company like Space Education projects, think the Space Elevator is important, and would like exposure to 25,000 of space-curious spectators and all the who’s who of Space 2.0 – please check out the information at http://www.elevator2010.org/site/sponsorshipXP.html 

Large business or small, private or corporate, we have an option that will work for you. 

* Volunteers for Las Cruces

As mentioned before, we’re looking for on-site help at Las Cruces. An advanced team will arrive at Las Cruces on or about 10/12, and will start working setting up I&Q week at the fairgrounds.  If you are a resident of Las Cruces or El Paso, or if you want to join us for the entire week, please email us.

Our travel schedule is not final yet, but we will be able to pick up people along the Bay area – Los Angeles – Phoenix – Tucson – Las Cruces route.   Please include the date from which you can be available.

* Special thanks

We’d like to thank so much the exceptional people of Las Cruces who are making this possible by going all out and giving us a hand:

– Mayor Bill Mattiace.
– County engineer Jorge Granados.
– Ken Wooten of Wooten construction.
– Phil Cordova of Alliance Riggers & Constructors in El Paso.
– Jon Benson and Mark Medoff of New Mexico State University Creative Media Institute.
– Pat Hynes of New Mexico State University and New Mexico Space Grant Consortium.
– Peter Diamandis and the X-Prize Crew, including Rick Winquest, Mike Kelly, Paul Birkeland, and Nicole Jordan – without whom none of this would have been possible.

* As usual…

Our web site:  http://www.spaceward.org/
Space Elevator competition:  http://www.elevator2010.org/
Our web shop:  http://www.elevator2010.org/site/shop.html

That’s that for this update… 3 Weeks and counting – we hope to see you soon in Las Cruces.


  The Spaceward Crew

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