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-NewsletterFebruary 2011   
In This Issue
ISEC Study Report
Space Elevator Conference
ISEC Prize Competitions
British Invitation
What is ISEC?
Visit ISEC on the Web
Quick Links
Letter from the President

Last month, ISEC was very pleased to announce the 2011 Artsutanov and Pearson prizes.  This month, we are very happy to announce the publication of the first ISEC Report and the upcoming 2011 Space Elevator Conference.

Each year ISEC selects a theme - the method we are using to help move Space Elevator research and thought forward.  Several ISEC activities then use this theme as the focus of their efforts for the year.  One of these activities is the ISEC Report, the result of an in-depth research effort into the year's theme.  These reports are intended to summarize the 'state-of-the-art' of the current topic and to then move that effort forward.  There is a lot of misinformation out there about the Space Elevator, most of it well-intentioned, but ultimately not-helpful and these ISEC Reports are intended, in part, to counteract this misinformation.

The theme for 2010 was Space Elevator Survivability - Space Debris Mitigation and that was also the topic for the 2010 ISEC Report.  There is no doubt that Space Debris poses a potentially serious hazard for any object or structure in space and the question is often asked; "What will Space Debris do to the Elevator?"  This report answers that question.  More information about this Report is given elsewhere in this eNewsletter and can also be found on the ISEC website.

The other big news this month is the official announcement of the 2011 Space Elevator Conference.  This event will be held from August 11th through the 14th and will again be hosted at the Microsoft Conference Center in Redmond, Washington.  More details about the conference are given later on in the eNewsletter.

Let me again close this month by asking you to join ISEC or, if your membership has expired in ISEC, to please consider renewing your membership.  Membership fees are our lifeblood - without them we cannot do all of the activities that we feel are necessary to move the concept of a Space Elevator forward.  Members get a free poster and a free copy of the ISEC Journal.  In addition, members attending the Space Elevator Conference will also receive additional benefits.  Regular, professional memberships are only $68/year while student members are only $25/year.  The cost is small while the benefits are large - please join!

Ted Semon
President - ISEC
ISEC Study Report 

In keeping with our mission to bring you the most relevant and up to date information concerning a Space Elevator, ISEC is pleased to announce the release of our first ISEC Study Report. This Report is the culmination of last years research into our theme of Space Debris Mitigation.
Space Elevator Survivability, Space Debris Mitigation delivers an in-depth analysis of a wide range of topics, each of which is incredibly important to the success of a Space Elevator.
The analysis shows how over the past several years there has been a dramatic increase in the amount of debris in orbit. This increase has come from both natural increases due to launching spacecraft into orbit and accidental collisions as well as purposeful collisions of orbital structures.
The questions posed and answered by this Report are what this means for a Space Elevator and whether it makes the survival of a Space Elevator unrealistic. The Report examines several methods to ensure the survival of a Space Elevator as well and unequivocally states that a Space Elevator can be maintained within this debris field.
Much of the information provided has implications well beyond a Space Elevator as well. Space debris is rapidly becoming a concern for all organizations that are active in space and the means to reduce or eliminate space debris outlined in this Report will be beneficial to all. This is just one more way that ISEC is attempting to contribute to more than just the Space Elevator community but to the larger space community as well.
You can buy your copy of this great Report here.
2011 Space Elevator Conference

As the weather starts to warm in the Northern Hemisphere, it is time to begin looking forward to the annual Space Elevator Conference in Redmond, WA. The dates are set for August 12th thru the 14th with the Microsoft Conference Center in Redmond, Washington, again serving as host.
Last years Conference was a great success with both Jarome Pearson and Yuri Artsutanov being in attendance. With planning already well underway, this year looks like it will be just as exciting.
The three day Conference holds something that will be interesting to all members of the Space Elevator community, from those who are actively involved in research to avid space fans who are just interested in learning more.

The official announcement for this Space Elevator Conference, can be accessed here.
The bulk of the presentations will occur during the three day technical conference.  Research and papers will be presented on all manners of subjects with the primary focus being research into the ISEC Annual Theme, "Stronger and Lighter Tethers." If you are interested either in attending or presenting at the Conference, we highly encourage you to visit the website to keep up to date on information concerning the event. 
Less technical presentations are also made at several different times throughout the Conference. Events will kick off with a free public presentation which will be made the evening of Thursday the 11th. After that, people have the option of attending one of two Space Elevator 101 sessions. These sessions are about half a day in length and will give much more information about all aspects of the Space Elevator. For more information you can again go to the website listed above.
"30 MegaYuris or Bust!" 

In keeping with the theme for 2011 of "Developing Stronger, Lighter Tethers," ISEC is opening the competition for this years Artsutanov and Pearson prizes which will both be awarded for papers that advance the development of a 30 MegaYuri1 tether.  


 Anyone who is interested can submit their original work for the Artsutanov Prize while the Pearson Prize is open only to undergraduate level students.  Their work is reviewed by the ISEC Prize committee and prizes are awarded to winning papers in the amounts of $2,500 for the Artsutanov Prize and $1,500 for the Pearson Prize.


Tether strength is the Achilles Heel of a Space Elevator due to the fact that no materials currently exist with a high enough strength to weight ratio to build the 100,000 km long tether which is the central pillar of the elevator.


The deadline for submitting entries is May 15, 2011.  Specific contest rules and other information about the prizes can be found on the ISEC website.


1 A Yuri is equivalent to 1 Pascal per kilogram per cubic meter (1 Pa/(kg/m3))  A Mega Yuri (MYuri) is equivalent to the commonly used units of 1 Giga-Pascal per gram per cubic centimeter (1 GPa/(g/cm3)) and to 1 Newton per tex (N/tex).  


2Officers and Directors of ISEC are not eligible.  

Invitation to Europe


Next month, ISEC board member Dr. Peter Swan is heading to Britain to present our Report on Space Elevator Survivability to the British Interplanetary Society.


The BIS traces its roots back to 1933 when it was established by a group of space exploration enthusiests and today it is the oldest organization devoted to the support of space exploration. The Society also publishes a monthly magazine, a monthly technical journal and a semi-annual suppliment with a summary of all of their papers.


On the evening of March 28th the ISEC Study Report will be presented with a 90 minute question and answer session. This is another example of the way the SIEC is attempting to reach out to other space exploration organizations throughout the world. Our Report and this presentation is also a perfect example of how the Space Elevator community can act as an enabler for all space exploration.


For anyone who is interested in attending the meeting, you need to contact BIS to find out more specifics and an invitation.

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 Join 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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