Version 0.94 of 2007 Power Beaming (Climber) Competition rulebook posted

Version 0.94 of this rulebook is now up and available for review.  Here you can find the changes from version 0.93 to 0.94 discussed.  Of course everything can be accessed from the Elevator2010 website.  As always, submit comments and recommendations to Ben Shelef at Ben AT

Ben also has the following comment on the remarks (here and here) by Professor Mark Welland.

“It’s a known fact that popular journalism, both technical and mainstream, tends to exaggerate claims. There is no argument that the SE CNT tether does not exist yet, and is much stronger than anything we produce today – nothing to the contrary was ever claimed. Still, it is not laughable to predict that totally new technology will result in large improvements, especially when the mechanism of this technology is understood. CNTs are strong enough, and composites and ropes exhibit tensile strengths very close to that of their native fibers. There’s enough evidence that the CNT tether is feasible – saying we can’t get there because we’re not already there is dead-end thinking. Just my 2c.”

2 thoughts on “Version 0.94 of 2007 Power Beaming (Climber) Competition rulebook posted

  1. Darnell Clayton

    Amen to that!

    I think the doubters should take a strong look at history. After all, most of the inventions we have today are a result of “wild ideas that would never work” except on paper.


  2. Jasper

    Claiming that something is impossible because it doesn’t exist yet is off course a non-argument. But the counter-argument is very weak as well.
    If you really look into materials, it is more realistic to say that materials which are ready for application (ropes, ribbons, etc) have a asymptotic development to 30% of the theorethical molecular strength (polyester, nylon, dyneema, etc). You can never get close to 100% because of impurities, misalignments, bonding, etc.
    This will probably also be the case for CNT materials. If we can somehow have a very high yield of high quality SWCNT’s, a space elevator tether will still be in the realm of feasibility.

    The problem lies not in the journalism. The press is predictable. If you give them high hopes for a nice story, like a SE tether competition or claiming the current existence of supermaterials, it is logical that the press will take a negative stand if they are disappointed by materials which do not even surpass COTS materials.

    I don’t want to sound negative. I am, and will be, a believer in the space elevator. But you can’t stop the rest of the world from laughing if you don’t take the negative arguments seriously. Development takes time. My prediction is that the SE-grade material will be manufactured 20 years after the first CNT materials are stronger than any commercial material currently available, based on similar development times of other materials.

    People (/ the press) are just waiting for a proof that CNT’s are really promising for a space elevator. You can’t blame them.

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