The official newsletter of the
International Space Elevator Consortium (ISEC)
Our mission statement:
"... ISEC promotes the
development, construction and operation of a space elevator as
a revolutionary and efficient way to space for all humanity
The ISEC e-Newsletter - Issue #2 -
The 2009 Space Elevator Conference
The 2009 Space Elevator Conference will be held from Thursday, August 13th through
Sunday, August 16th, at the Microsoft Conference Center in Redmond,
Washington. A full and varied set of activities are planned;
everything from "Family Day", where the concept of a Space Elevator
is presented to families and others who may be new to the idea, to
Roadmap workshops to in-depth presentations on the state of the
various technologies necessary to build a Space Elevator.
Corporate sponsors include the Space Engineering and Science
Institute (SESI), the JPL Space Foundation and the Microsoft corporation.
Strong Tether competition, part
of the Space Elevator Games, will also be held at the Conference.
This competition is part of NASA's Centennial Challenges program and
a prize purse of 2 Million US Dollars is on the line! In the
last Strong Tether competition, the first tether made entirely of
carbon nanotubes appeared. This year we hope to see
multiple carbon nanotube entries - truly an advance in the state of
the art. You must be a paid conference attendee to witness the
competition, so be sure to sign up now!
Also, if you are a paid attendee at
the conference, you will have an opportunity to join the
International Space Elevator
Consortium (ISEC) at a GREATLY reduced rate. So come to
the conference, join ISEC, help build a Space Elevator and save some
The official conference website is
http://www.spaceelevatorconference.org and here you can stay current
with the latest conference developments and register to
attend. We hope to see you there!
Power-Beaming competition status
we mentioned in our last newsletter, the Spaceward Foundation
and NASA had announced that the Climber / Power-Beaming
competition was scheduled for August 5-7 at the NASA Dryden
Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base in California.
This competition, one of the Space Elevator Games (along with
the Strong Tether Challenge) is part of the NASA Centennial
Challenges program and NASA has put up a prize purse of 2
Million US Dollars to encourage innovation in the development of
3 teams have
now qualified for this competition; the
Kansas City Space
Pirates, LaserMotive and the
University of Saskatchewan Space
Design Team (USST). All are veteran teams and all have
demonstrated the capability to control a laser beam of
sufficient magnitude to power a Climber up and down a
kilometer-long steel cable (held aloft by a helicopter) at a
speed of at least 2 meters/second. Laser testing recently
concluded at the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center and was an
awesome site to behold. Visit the official site of the
Space Elevator Games (www.spaceelevatorgames.org) or the Space
Elevator Blog (www.spaceelevatorblog.com) for more information
about and pictures from this testing.
While the laser testing went extremely well, the testing for the
actual raceway itself ran into some problems. In the first
round of testing, a pulley failed while in the second round, a
safety device on the cable assembly disengaged due to the
inability of the helicopter pilot to maintain the correct
position and tension. A redesigned pulley has taken care
of the first problem while a search is now on for a replacement
helicopter pilot. Ben Shelef, CEO of the
Foundation, and overall driving force behind these Games is
optimistic that the helicopter issue will be solved soon.
In his words:
engaged a new helicopter operator and are in the process of
determining if they can do the job - we need to be more thorough
on this aspect this time around. We are also pursuing other
alternatives in order to make the next flight happen as soon as
possible. (But no sooner!)”
So, the upshot of all this is that the Climber / Power-Beaming
portion of the Space Elevator Games has been delayed. As
of the release of this newsletter, a new date has not yet been
set but will probably be sometime in September or perhaps
October. Stay tuned to the
official website of the Space
Elevator Games for the latest information.
The official website for these games is
http://www.spaceelevatorgames.org. Because this
competition will not be open to the public (due to the secure
facility where it is being held), it will be televised on NASA
TV and also via a webcast at the
official website. In addition, the official website
will show interviews, team standings, blog posts from the
competition, clips from previous year's competitions, etc. - in
short, everything you need to stay on top of the Games.
What is ISEC?
The International Space Elevator
Consortium (ISEC) is the result of a coming-together of leading
figures and organizations who have worked long and hard over many
years to promote
the concept of a Space Elevator. With organizational members
in the United States, Europe and Japan and individual members from
around the world, ISEC's goal is nothing less than to get a Space
From our bylaws:
"... ISEC promotes the development, construction and operation of
a space elevator as a revolutionary and efficient way to space for
all humanity ..."
Our plan of action is based on four pillars: Technology, Law,
Business, and Outreach:
Each of the pillars is headed by a pillar lead, who functions much
like a university's department head. Their job is to start
initiatives (projects), pursue collaborations, guide project leads
and prospective project leads in pursuing their individual projects,
and generally increase the activity level of their pillar.
If you agree with us that building a
Space Elevator should be a priority for all of us and you would like
to help make this happen, please
Join Us! Benefits
include e-newsletters (such as this one), an e-magazine and
e-journal and other items listed on our sign-up page.
Come and join us
and help make the future happen!
Why should you join ISEC?
So, why should you
Why should you become a member and give us some of your hard-earned
money, especially in these economic times? What’s in it for you?
These are all good questions, but I’d like to answer them by asking
you some questions; Do you think that humanity should expand beyond
earth? Do you think that humanity should have a transportation
system to space which is safe and reliable and scalable? Do you
agree with Robert Heinlein when he wrote; “The earth is just too
small and fragile a basket for the human race to keep all its eggs
in.” Are you a supporter of the idea of Space-based Solar
Power Satellites? If you answered ‘yes’ to any or all of these
questions, you should support the concept of a Space Elevator! A
Space Elevator is THE transportation system which can make our race
a truly spacefaring one.
ISEC was formed to make a Space Elevator happen.
The money you give us by
will be used to fund research into technologies necessary to build a
Space Elevator and to ’spread the word’. For example, one of the
first projects we want to tackle is research into how a carbon
nanotube (CNT) tether will actually perform outside the earth’s
atmosphere and protective magnetic field. Atomic oxygen, radiation,
space debris and just normal wear-and-tear from Climber traffic will
all be hazards the ribbon has to endure. We’d like to partner with
a university or lab and set up earth-based experiments to get some
preliminary answers. At some point, however, we’ll need to actually
test a CNT tether in space and that may mean a
mission. All of this will take money and focus. We can provide the
focus but we need YOU to provide the money. Without your support,
efforts to build a Space Elevator will continue to be
disjointed, unfocused and uncoordinated.
Those of us who have come together to create ISEC (and you can
find out who we are by checking out the
pages on our website)
passionately believe that building a Space Elevator should be
considered a high priority by everyone who has an interest in the
future of our species. Please
join us by
becoming a member of ISEC and participating in what promises to be
one of the defining projects of this century.
Ted Semon - President, ISEC
The Japan Space Elevator Games
Japan, too, is holding their version of the Space Elevator Games.
This is their first-ever competition and is entitled the Japan Space
Elevator & Technical Competition (JSETEC) - "Climb me to the moon".
This competition will be held on Saturday, August 8th, and Sunday,
August 9th at Nihon University in Chiba Prefecture, Japan. For
more details, you can visit their website at
Space Elevator Humor
Anyone who has spent any
time in the Space Elevator arena has heard the by-now tired jokes
about "Elevator music for a gazillion floors" or "Don't push all the
buttons", etc. However, a foursome at
has taken this to a whole new level, releasing several episodes of
what life might be like in a normal elevator that somehow wound up
as a Space Elevator. It's all in good fun. Visit their
website to view all of the episodes.
Below is a snapshot of a slap-fight occurring in episode six.
This fight ends in the dreaded "Vulcan throat-thrust" - Oh, the
EuroSpaceward to hold its third
annual conference in December
On December 5th and 6th, 2009,
EuroSpaceward will host
it's 3rd International Conference on the Space Elevator, CNT (carbon
nanotube) Tether design & Lunar industrialization challenges.
More details on this conference will be coming soon. Visit the
EuroSpaceward website to register.
Visit ISEC on the Web!
Visit our website at
There you can join learn more about what is happening in the
Space Elevator community and what is being done to advance the
concept of a Space Elevator. Please consider joining
ISEC - we foster research and sponsor Space Elevator-related
causes, but to do so takes money. Your contributions are
crucial to our success. Thank you!
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