Twenty-one teams now registered for the 2007 Space Elevator Games

On February 1st, I posted that seventeen teams were now fully registered (i.e., they’ve done the paperwork and have paid the entrance fee) for the 2007 Space Elevator Games.  That number has now increased to twenty-one.  At this rate, we’ll have seventy-seven and a half teams registered by the times the Games start… 🙂

Two of these teams are registered in the Tether competition (Astroaraneae, last year’s winner, and a team from MIT) while the other nineteen are in the Climber/Power Beaming event.

Of these nineteen, three are in this year’s new event, the “Limited Competition”.  Entrants in this competition are essentially playing by the rules of the 2006 Space Elevator Games; 50 meters of travel at an average speed of at least 1m/s.  There is no money to be awarded for the Limited competition, but it’s a great way to get some experience in this event while working towards the 2008 Space Elevator games.  The three teams in the Limited event are from Japan, Iran and Spain.  The Spanish team, Recens, was the victim of a shipping snafu with UPS and their climber never made it to the 2006 Space Elevator Games.  I’m glad to see that they haven’t been so put off by this that they gave up.  One has to like their chances this year as they had a climber ready and working for last year (they’ll probably charter an Iberia Air plane direct to wherever the competition is going to be held this year).  You can see pictures of it by clicking on the “Photos” link at the top of the blog.

One also has to have respect for whatever the Japanese are going to attempt to do – they are not exactly technological neophytes.

The mystery team, for me, is the one from Iran.  I await their arrival and entry with great anticipation.  The Islamic world has been a technological backwater for centuries.  I lived and worked in Saudi Arabia for eight years in the 1980’s and saw little native technological advancement in my time there.  There’s nothing inherent about it, it’s just the way it’s been.  But it’s only a matter of time before this changes and perhaps the Iranian entry is a manifestation of that.

I’m disappointed that we’ve seen nothing from India, China or Australia – maybe I’ll write their Presidents and ask them why they’re chicken 🙂