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-NewsletterJune 2011   
In This Issue
Conference Speakers
Space Elevator Press
Corporate Membership
What is ISEC?
Visit ISEC on the Web
Quick Links
Letter from the President

Anyone who has paid attention to developments in the Carbon Nanotube (CNT) community knows that the great bulk of research efforts (and research funds) has gone towards investigating seemingly every property of CNTs except their theoretical strength potential.  There is no doubt that CNTs have immense potential in any number of fields (medical research, sensor technology, ceramics, etc.) but what we in the Space Elevator Community are interested in regarding CNTs is these two questions; 1) Can they be made strong enough to build a Space Elevator and 2) How do we do that?  This is why we have adopted our theme for 2011 - "Developing stronger, lighter tethers - 30 MYuri or bust!".  The 2011 Artsutanov and Pearson prizes will be awarded for the best qualifying papers on this topic, the next ISEC report will be devoted to that topic and it is also the theme of the 2011 Space Elevator Conference.


Speaking of the 2011 Conference, we are very excited at the speakers, true pioneers and experts in their field, which have been announced (more on this later on in this eNewsletter) so far.  We are very hopeful that these experts can help jump-start additional research into this field.


We are also very excited that the current issue of the National Geographic Magazine, one of the true icons of the American publishing industry, has an article on the Space Elevator and we are very proud that the International Space Elevator Consortium (ISEC) was listed as a source for the technical material.  Also, on the National Geographic Channel, ISEC was mentioned as the "key group" for research into this area.  That's quite a complement and we hope to continue to live up to it.

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 

Conference Speakers 
With less than two months to go until the annual Space Elevator Conference we are getting firm information on what will be happening in this great three day (August 12-14) conference in Redmond, Washington.  The first day of the conference is being devoted to presentations on past, current and future developments in the field of Carbon Nanotubes (CNTs) regarding their specific strength properties.  To our knowledge, this is the first conference that has devoted time solely for discussing these properties of CNTs.
The conference organizers are very excited to announce two of the confirmed speakers for Friday.
Dr. Boris Yakobson, the Karl F. Hasselmann Chair of Engineering, Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science and Professor of Chemistry at Rice University will be presenting a paper titled "A few answers to Rajasinghe: Carbon bonds, limits of growth, bounds of strength".  He will discuss what are the initial steps of carbon network failure, under the high tension, and what is the breaking strain limit, at least theoretically.
Dr. Vesselin Shanov, an Associate Professor of Chemical and Materials Engineering at the University of Cincinnati as well as co-director of UC Nanoworld Laboratories will be presenting a paper on his research into producing highly alligned CNT arrays and the subsequent spinning of these arrays into high strength fibers.
These two presentations will be one of the highlights of our day long focus on the creation of stronger and lighter tethers.
We look forward to hearing what insights these two leading researchers into the field of CNTs have to offer to help advance the Space Elevator endevour.  Even if you are not a fan of the Space Elevator concept but you are a researcher in the CNT field or are interested in the future of high-strength materials, these two presentations (as well as others scheduled for that day) should be of great interest to you.
Be sure to visit for more updates on the conference and be sure to sign-up by July 10th for the early bird registration rates. 
National Geographic LogoSpace Elevator Press
For those of you who have been fans of a Space Elevator for any length of time, you know what it can be like to try and explain the idea to a friend. Skeptical might be a kind word for the way many people view the idea. Though any one article cannot change that, a story about a Space Elevator in something larger than a technical journal is always exciting.

For this reason we are pleased to announce that the July, 2011 issue of National Geographic, one of the iconic magazines of our time, contains a story on the Space Elevator. Several ISEC board members were consulted for information and the story highlights the successes of competitions such as the NASA Centennial Challenge at pushing the boundaries of what is technically feasible. Other research from ISEC members shown in the story includes the concept of using both power beaming and more traditional solar power as a way to power the climber as well as the need to use a curved tether to help improve viability and survivability.
This is just some of the research that ISEC is trying to promote in order to advance the creation of a Space Elevator. Be sure to check out this issue of National Geographic to see the whole story or visit the online, interactive version here.
In addition to the National Geographic article, on the National Geographic Channel, you can find a longer article about the space elevator.  This article mentions the International Space Elevator Consortium (ISEC) and calls us the "key group" in this arena - thanks National Geographic!
(To see a full-size version of the graphic, click on it, or visit the National Geographic website)
SWAN LogoCorporate Membership 

Though there is no end to the amount which we value our individual members, ISEC is now trying to reach out to corporations around the world in order to gain their support as well.
The question is, what kind of relationship will ISEC and corporate members have. Well first, lets go through a quick breakdown of what the money that these companies put forward will be used for. Currently the majority of ISEC resources are put towards the publishing of the ISEC Journal, more information on that next month, and support for the Space Elevator Conference in Redmond, WA. It was ISEC that brought Yuri Artsutanov and Jerome Pearson to the conference last year, will be bringing Dr.'s Boris Yakobson and Vesselin Shanov to present at the conference this year and will be able to bring more keynote speakers in the future.
As for what companies get, they will be exposed to the Space Elevator community. We now have this monthly newsletter going out to thousands of people around the world and also have a free podcast which highlights our sponsorships. Given our recent 501(c)3 status, all memberships are also tax deductible.
By visiting our Join page on  you can see a detailed breakdown of the benefits that you receive by becoming a corporate member and the various types of memberships that are offered. We know that the Space Elevator community is full of entrepreneurs who own their own businesses as well as many people who are successful members throughout the corporate world. If you are someone who owns your own business we hope that you will consider becoming a corporate member to show your full support for this concept. For those of you that work in a larger corporation, this could be the perfect time to link your personal hobbies with your work by trying to convince them to join ISEC.
To see how progress is going, a part of each newsletter will be keeping you up to date on the corporate members that we do have. So again, much thanks to Southwest Analytic Networks, we hope that you will be the first of many new corporate members for ISEC. For more information on joining, please visit the ISEC website .
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!

If this newsletter has been forwarded to you, you can also sign up to be on our mailing list so you don't miss a thing!

The International Space Elevator Consortium (ISEC) is a registered 501c3 charitable organization (EIN 80-0302896)