Space Elevator Games – no winner this year

Over at the Space Elevator Reference, they are reporting that USST did not win the climber prize this year, so I guess the problems they had on the descent were enough to disqualify them (when I have or find a more complete explanation of exactly what the problem was, I’ll either report it or point readers to it).  Nevertheless, their climb was quite impressive.

Even more impressive is that they used their second choice of power supply to power their Climber.  They had originally planned to launch via laser power, but couldn’t get their laser to work properly at the Games, so they used spot lights instead.  Even that was enough to drive them up to the top of the tether in prize-winning time.  I’m sure they’ll be putting in more effort into having a ready laser for next year.  And, as it’s envisioned that a “real” space elevator will be laser-powered, this can’t but help move the effort along.

A side note on the USST effort; as I noted on an earlier posting, they made a deal with the Spanish Team, Recens (and perhaps TurboCrawler – I’m trying to verify that) to use their spotlights to power their climb.  Recens, as readers know, were the victim of a major UPS snafu – UPS lost their climber, which they had shipped from Spain, somewhere in Kentucky. 

Recens had promised to donate their climber to a local Spanish museum when the games were over, but as the climber was lost, they were in danger of being unable to fulfill that promise.  It was announced during the Games that USST sold their climber to Recens (rumoured to be for the princely sum of 1 (one) US Dollar) and that Recens was going to take that climber back to Spain to donate to the museum.  So, all-in-all, a good deal for everyone involved.

6 thoughts on “Space Elevator Games – no winner this year

  1. Pingback: LiftPort Staff Blog » Blog Archive » Brief Update on the Elevator:2010 Competition

  2. Lisa

    How did the microwave beam challenge go? We hung out at the fairgrounds for an hour or so, hoping to see them tested. We were glad we headed home to Albuquerque after that when we saw the posting that indicated the microwave climbers were still to be tested as of Sunday morning… We did see the crane headed over to the fairgrounds. In fact, we had to get off the road so it could turn onto it.

    Thank you for the blogging! We desperately wanted to see the final results!

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  4. Ryan

    I have a few questions: 1) Have the NASA and Russian tether experiments ( been taken into consideration when designing these cables?, and 2) Do these tests require conductive or insulating properties to be included in the tests? I’m wondering why nobody bothered to point out the robots that participated in this test don’t exactly have to be solar powered. Maybe I missed something, but one of the great residual effects of the space elevator was that we were going to be able to use energy collected by these tethers. Anybody?

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  6. Marc


    I don’t know anything about the Russian experiments, but there is no requirement on conductivity.

    The robots must be beam powered, though the sun was allowed as a source this year (though it really doesn’t help with the beam power problem). The name of the competition actually is “The Beam Power Challenge”, so in the future you should see things like microwaves and lasers as beam sources. Next year coule be interesting.

    As for the “residual effects”, the energy discussions I have seen has the space elevator launching solar collection stations that use power beaming to relay the energy back to earth. The tether is always non-conductive.

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