EuroSpaceward at the International Space University (ISU)

At the recently concluded 12th Annual Symposium of the International Space University (ISU), Markus Klettner and Eurospaceward presented a Poster Session on “Why we need an elevator to Space”.

I emailed Markus, asking how it went and this was his reply:

“It went quite well. We had a number of people gathering and picking up information on the space elevator project.

Most noteworthy perhaps that we are now getting in touch with Tallin Institute of Technology and Tartu University (Mechatronics division) to promote the beam power challenge. They had a robotics competiton there in 2007, where the challenge for the competing robot teams was to climb up a rope of 2,5 m. You see the connex to the NASA challenge 🙂

(For more information visit their Robotex website with an overview and task description in English: http://www.robotex.ee/overview).

Concerning the ISU Symposium itself you can find pictures of it at:

http://www.sendspace.com/file/7ce9mr
http://www.sendspace.com/file/7p9wm5
http://www.sendspace.com/file/m5u5ou

They were taken by Ondrej Doule, the ISU student that participated in the Luxembourg workshop.  Please reference him in case you find an image worth to be blogged.”

But the REALLY interesting item in his email to me was the following tidbit:

“Another bit of information that may be interesting is that Prof. Alan Windle and his team at Cambridge University including Dr. Marcelo Motta are now definitely considering participating in the NASA tether challenge. The final decision however, (as always) depends on the sponsorship they get in order to finance the preparation of the competition tether. We are of course trying to assist them as much as possible since w’d love to see them at the Spaceward Games!”

This is the team, of course, that announced their ~9 GPa – N/Tex nanotube fibers (blogged about here and many other places) at the 1st annual European Space Elevator Climber and Tether workshop.

I fully expect the teams from both Astroaraneae and DeltaX to be up to this challenge, which should make for a very exciting Tether competition this year.

I am reminded of the immortal line from the movie “Jaws” when Police Chief Martin Brody, viewing the Great White shark for the first time, says “You’re going to need a bigger boat”.  If we have several teams that show up at this competition with carbon nanotube tethers meeting (or perhaps exceeding?) 9 GPa, all I can say to Spaceward is “You’re going to need a stronger machine”

(Picture of Great White Shark from here – click on it for a larger version)

1 thought on “EuroSpaceward at the International Space University (ISU)

  1. Tom Kastan

    I’m glad to hear that Prof. Windle is getting involved with teathers.

    There was an article right before the Third Annual International Space Elevator Conference, which discussed his team spinning nanotube threads from ‘elastic smoke’. My wife and I tried to get some samples, and had planned to put them into cast resin hexagons for keychains, imprinted for the conference. His team was very busy, and we never made the pieces, but it would have been great to have an artifact made from carbon nanotubes, even if it was just a short piece of thread embedded in plastic. The leap from drawings, spreadsheets, and view graphs to physical objects is an important one for followers of the space elevator.

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