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 ..."

ISEC e-Newsletter #4
March 2010
In This Issue
Announcing the 2010 Pearson and Artsutanov prizes
The 2009 and 2010 Space Elevator Games
What is ISEC?
Quick Links
Dear Subscriber,
Though we haven't sent out a Newsletter in the past few months, it has been a hectic but productive period for ISEC.  Our Board of Directors recently adopted a Strategic Plan for 2010 and we are now busy implementing it.

Our focal theme for this year's activities is Space Debris Mitigation.  All of us are aware of how much junk (debris, dead satellites, pieces of rocket boosters, etc.) is in orbit around us and much thought has gone into what to do about it.  Most ideas about how to deal with space debris have been vis-à-vis its impact on live satellites, the ISS, the Space Shuttle, etc. while little research has been targeted towards thinking about how a Space Elevator is going to cope with this problem.  ISEC's activities this year are focused on this topic.

We have several "theme" projects that are going to be announced over the next few months, with the first one appearing in this newsletter, the Pearson and Artsutanov prizes.  Details are in the first article, below.

Stay tuned - exciting times are ahead for all of us who want to make a Space Elevator happen!

Ted Semon
President - ISEC
Announcing the 2010 Jerome Pearson and Yuri Artsutanov prizes

ISEC is truly thrilled to announce its first annual set of prizes, named after two of the co-inventors of the modern day concept of the Space Elevator, American Jerome Pearson and Russian Yuri Artsutanov.

ISEC has established these annual prizes to encourage new research into Space Elevator related topics.  In keeping with its yearly theme, papers submitted for the Jerome Pearson prize must be on the topic of Space Debris Mitigation in relation to a Space Elevator.  Papers submitted for the Yuri Artsutanov prize can be on any Space Elevator related topic.

The Press release announcing these prizes is reproduced in full, below:


The International Space Elevator Consortium Announces the Pearson and Artsutanov Space Elevator Prizes

Mountain View, Calif. (March 3, 2010) -- The International Space Elevator Consortium (ISEC), an independent group designed to promote standards and foster research relating to the construction of an Elevator to Space, has announced its first annual set of prizes, named after the co-inventors of the modern-day concept of the Space Elevator, Jerome Pearson and Yuri Artsutanov.

Formed in 2008 by a coalition of leaders in the Space Elevator movement, ISEC has established these prizes to encourage research into Space Elevator related technologies and concepts to help further ISEC's mission of promoting "the development, construction and operation of a space elevator as a revolutionary and efficient way to space for all humanity".

Ted Semon, the president of ISEC states; "We are thrilled to be able to offer these awards, named after the co-inventors of the modern-day concept of the Space Elevator.  The Space Elevator, a 'carbon railway' to the solar system and beyond, is the right way to open up space to all humanity.  With research into carbon nanotubes proceeding at an ever-accelerating rate, we think that it is only a matter of a few years before the material necessary to build a space elevator will be available.  The time is now to begin serious planning for this most magnificent concept."

Each year, ISEC selects a focal theme for its activities.  For 2010, this theme is "Space Debris Mitigation".  One of the major hurdles that must be overcome in order to successfully build and operate a Space Elevator is avoiding space debris and satellites in orbit.  While much research has been done on this topic, the goal for most existing research has been mitigating the problem of space debris in relation to satellites, the ISS, the Shuttle, etc.

The Pearson prize will be awarded for that paper which best addresses the topic of Space Debris Mitigation in relation to a Space Elevator and is open to all college undergraduate students currently enrolled in a two or four-year undergraduate curriculum.

The Artsutanov prize will be awarded for the best paper on any other Space Elevator-related topic and is open to everyone(1).

The winning paper of the Pearson prize will be awarded $1,500 while the winning paper of the Artsutanov prize will be awarded $2,500.  Both winners will be invited to the 2010 Space Elevator conference (held this coming August in Redmond, Washington) to present their papers.  Their papers will also be published in the ISEC Journal.  In addition to awarding the prize money, ISEC will pay for airfare and hotel accommodations for the prize-winners (maximum of one per paper if multiple authors).

Contest details can be found on the ISEC website (

For more details, please contact ISEC President Ted Semon (ted [at], Prize Chair Peter Swan (peter [at] or ISEC Technical Pillar Lead Ben Shelef (ben [at]

Headquartered in Mountain View, Calif., a leading technology center, the International Space Elevator Consortium (ISEC) is a non-profit organization devoted to the research and construction of an Elevator to Space.  Founding members of ISEC include the Spaceward Foundation, the Space Elevator Reference, the Space Elevator Blog, EuroSpaceward and the Japan Space Elevator Association.   For more information please visit

Press Inquiries:

Ted Semon
ted [at]

Belinda Young
byoung [at]

(1) Directors and officers of ISEC and their immediate family members are not eligible.


There is some 'fine print' of course, the various terms and conditions of the contests.  These are all spelled out on the ISEC website.

A PDF of the Press Release can be accessed here.  We encourage you to pass along this Press Release to any websites, email lists, etc. that you think might have some interest in this.

If you're interested in doing some original research on the Space Elevator and would like a chance to win some cash and a trip to the upcoming Space Elevator conference for doing so, now's your chance!
The 2009 and 2010 Space Elevator Games

Winning the cashSubscribers to this newsletter know that the Climber/Power-Beaming competition in the 2009 Space Elevator Games was a huge success, with Team LaserMotive winning a cool $900,000.  They have begun to use this funding to hire staff (which you can read about on their blog) and we can expect great things from this group in future competitions and in the Power-Beaming arena in general.

At the official site of the Space Elevator Games, Spaceward CEO Ben Shelef (the organizer of the Space Elevator Games) has posted several videos compiled from footage taken from the Games.  This site also has a photo gallery of pictures taken during the competition.  If you haven't had a chance to look at them, do yourself a favor and check them out...

Planning is underway for the 2010 Games.  With the new NASA priorities, the Centennial Challenges (of which the Space Elevator Games are a part) promise to be even bigger and better.  Stay tuned!

(The picture thumbnail is of the award ceremony at the 2009 Games.  Pictured from left to right are Andy Petro (the NASA Centennial Challenges guy), Tom Nugent and Dr. Jordin Kare (from Team LaserMotive) and Ben Shelef (CEO of the Spaceward Foundation and organizer of the Games).  Click on the thumbnail to see a full-size version of the picture.  This picture was taken by NASA and is 'reprinted' here with their permission.)
ISEC Logo - transparent background LASER '10 Competition

On March 21st, the Japan Space Elevator Association (JSEA) will host their next LASER (LEGO bricks Activity and Space Elevator Race) competition, LASER '10.

This competition is targeted towards school children who "are interested in Space Travel and Exploration". LASER '10 will sponsor the opportunity for the young people "to know about the Space Elevator", have an "interest in science", and enjoy the "pleasure to make" using the LEGO bricks loved by children. The participation of several teams of school students is scheduled for this event.

About the LEGO-Climber race:

  • Each team will produce a Climber made of LEGO bricks.
  • Participants will compete to see whose remote controlled Climber is the fastest to ascend the 25mm wide, 5m long polyester-tether which is hung from ceiling.

Contact information: For additional details, please contact the Executive Committee of LASER; laser10komajo [at]
What is ISEC?

ISEC LogoThe 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 Elevator built.

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 that building a Space Elevator should be a priority for all of us and you want to help make this happen, please Join Us!  Benefits include e-newsletters (such as this one), a print version of the ISEC Journal and other items listed on our sign-up page.

Come and join us and help make the future happen!
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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