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-NewsletterMarch 2011   
In This Issue
IAA Cosmic Study
New Board Member
European Space Elevator Challenge Reminder
New Website
Conference Update
What is ISEC?
Visit ISEC on the Web
Quick Links
Letter from the President

Its been another busy month in the Space Elevator Community.  The new project I'm most excited about now is the creation of a "Concept of Operations" (CONOPS) for running and maintaining a Space Elevator system.  There are some estimates available for BUILDING a Space Elevator but none that I know of for OPERATING and MAINTAINING a Space Elevator system.  A task such is this is a primary step in building a realistic cost estimate for a Space Elevator System and THAT is a necessary prerequisite for us to be able to approach a market (for example, GEO satellite launch and maintenance) and say "We can do it cheaper and faster and better than the way you're doing it now".  New ISEC Board member Robert "Skip" Penny is heading up this project and we should have something ready to present at the upcoming Space Elevator Conference in August.

We've also upgraded our web presence, from to, again something else which I think will give our efforts increased visibility and credibility.

You can read about these projects and other ongoing efforts in this 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
IAA Cosmic Study iaa

Though absolutely within our reach, the reality is that a great deal of technological development must occur in order to make a Space Elevator possible. Luckily for us, that development is being pushed in many different directions. As we have shown in past newsletters, numerous research groups around the world are tackling the problems of power beaming, CNT growth and all of the other technologies which will be required for a working Space Elevator. That reality makes it very difficult to even keep up to date on exactly where we are in the development of all of the individual technologies.
For this reason, members of ISEC have partnered with the International Academy of Astronautics to produce a wide sweeping review of all technologies and ideas surrounding the Space Elevator.  Due to be completed in 2013, this book will serve as the new benchmark for Space Elevator research and a ten year review of development since the publishing of The Space Elevator: A Revolutionary Earth-to-Space Transportation System by Dr. Brad Edwards and Eric Westling.
The book is being captained by ISEC Board member and Vice-President Dr. Pete Swan who is working with a large group of individuals from all through ISEC. The driving goal is "to demonstrate the engineering feasibility of the Space Elevator by showing current status, future alternatives and recommending development approaches."
The IAA was founded in 1960 to foster the development of astronautics for peaceful purposes. They have members in approximately 65 different countries and partner with organizations around the world such as the French Academy of Sciences and the US National Academy of Engineering. The organization holds an annual meeting at various locations with the 2011 meeting being held in Cape Town, South Africa. 
More information will be available soon on the ISEC website and in future newsletters. You can also look up more information on the IAA at
New Board Member 

After all of the recent successes for ISEC, the board decided that it was time to expand. The current six member board has been changed to include one more individual from the Space Elevator community.

Robert "Skip" Penny has been an active member of the Space Elevator community and the larger space community for many years. His speciality over his 38 year career has been the creation of space operations concepts. Just a few of the organizations that he has been a part of include US Space Command, the IRIDIUM development team and General Dynamics.
The most important factor in bringing Skip onto the ISEC team is his desire to help push the Space Elevator from concept to reality. He is already taking charge of ISEC's mission to create a viable operation plan for a Space Elevator in order to create realistic cost estimates for future endevours.
You can find contact information for Skip and all of our other Board members at  
EuSEC Logo European Space Elevator Challenge Reminder

The final application date is April 15th!

The Space Elevator community has been using the challenge setup to encourage innovation for years. Last year's successes in the Power Beaming competition proved that the concept works and now another competition, the European Space Elevator Challenge, is being offered in Europe to further increase the opportunities for breakthroughs.

EuSEC is a climber challenge with varying levels of entry for everything from remotely operated battery powered vehicles to autonomous beam powered vehicles. The one requirement for any level of entry is that the climber be able to carry at least 10% of its weight as payload.

The competition is put together by the Scientific Worlgroup of Rocketry and Spaceflight of the Technical University of Munich and will be held from June 10th to the 12th, 2011. For more information, please visit

Make it ecology-minded, make it efficient, make it european!

New Website Name 

Just as development throughout the Space Elevator community is hard to keep up with, changes within ISEC are happening just as fast. Though only a few months ago we released an entirely new website, we are now moving that website to a new address.
Away with the .info and on to the world of .org. Though it is a small change it is an important shift to show the direction that ISEC is trying to go. With out growing presence throughout the space community and social media, we are quickly becoming a recognized international organization.
We are currently shifting all of our contact information such as email addresses to the new domain name but all of the previous addresses still function. Similarly, you can still access the website at and you will be redirected to the new domain.

Conference Update


Planning for the 2011 Space Elevator Conference is in full swing and each month brings us closer to the exciting event in Redmond, WA. The official call for papers is out with a deadline of June 11th. Again, the primary theme of the conference is developing stronger and lighter tethers but entries from all parts of the Space Elevator community will be looked at for use in the three days of presentations.


For those wishing to attend the conference but not present, it is more important than ever to visit the conference website. "Early Bird" registration rates are in effect until July 1st, so act quickly.

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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