Carbon Nanotube-based tether may debut at 2007 Space Elevator Games

I’ve started email conversations with some of the teams registered to participate in the 2007 Elevator Games.  It’s much too early, of course, to know exactly what everyone is going to be doing, but I received this interesting bit of information from Michael Remington of Team Astroaraneae, an entrant into this years tether competition.

For those of you who don’t know, Team Astroaraneae produced the strongest tether in last year’s competition, though not strong enough to win the prize.  I asked Michael if they were planning on using carbon nanotubes in this year’s entry and this was his reply;

We are glad to be back competing as the reigning champion of the Tether Competition.  With an increase of the House Tether’s expected load carrying capacity jumping, from 1,300lbs in 2005 to greater than 1,660lbs in 2006, we have no other choice but to compete with a tether composed with nanotubes…if we intend to win the Grand Prize.  I will leave it up to you to speculate as to what we truly intend to do. 🙂


Do keep in mind one thing though: anyone can compete with a tether made of nanotubes.  All you need is $100 of nanotubes and some glue.  The trick is to make one that is stronger than the state of the art, and no one in the world has displayed this capability…yet.

So, we’ll have to wait and see.  As I assume they’re interested in winning the Grand prize ($500K this year – that’s real folding money…), I would take his words to mean that they WILL introduce a carbon-nanotube tether this year (of what percentage nanotubes and how constructed, I haven’t a clue).  But a winning tether, composed of carbon-nanotubes, would give a real kick to Space Elevator development…