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..."

August 2012
In This Issue
Space Elevator Conference moves to the Museum of Flight!
2012 JSETEC Competition
EUSPEC planning well under way...
What is ISEC?
Visit ISEC on the Web
About ISEC
Quick Links
Letter from the President


It's finally here!  After months and months of planning, the 2012 Space Elevator Conference is set to kick off this weekend at the Museum of Flight in Seattle, Washington.  The "Evening Mixer" for paid conference attendees will be held this evening and the technical program and Robo-Quest will begin tomorrow, Saturday. Visit the conference website for full program details.


This is going to be our first Conference at the Museum of Flight and promises to be an exciting 3-day event.  We hope to see you there.

Also in this eNewsletter is a report from Japan on their just-completed Space Elevator competition (JSETEC) and a status update on the upcoming European Space Elevator competition (EUSPEC).



Ted Semon


President - ISEC
ISEC Banner Space Elevator Conference moves to the Museum of Flight!

ISEC is very proud to announce that this year's Space Elevator Conference, the first organized by ISEC, will be held at the Museum of Flight in Seattle, Washington.  Conference dates are August 25-27.

The official Press Announcement:

For 2012, the Space Elevator Conference moves to The Museum of Flight!

The International Space Elevator Consortium is proud to announce that the 2012 Space Elevator Conference will now be held at the Museum of Flight in Seattle, Washington.  The conference dates remain the same, August 25th through August 27th, 2012, with the Family Science Fest being held on August 25th.  Come experience learning, brainstorming, and working together surrounded by an atmosphere of invention and discovery!  Conference and family science fest attendees will be stimulated and energized by the planes hanging from the Great Gallery glass ceiling or watching a jet take off from the Boeing Field runway.  This will be a fantastic new venue for the conference!

3-Day Technical Conference
The theme of this year's technical conference is "Operating and Maintaining a Space Elevator" and will be the focus of many of the presentations.  Other relevant topics will also be addressed and you're sure to find material of interest.

Family Science Fest
The Family Science Fest on Saturday, August 25th will also be held at the Museum of Flight.  This event is open to the public and is included in the Museum of Flight admission price.  The Family Science Fest includes Space Elevator 101 and 201 presentations, a youth robotics competition, exhibits from universities and science clubs, and much more.

More details of the conference technical program and the Family Science Fest are posted on the conference website (

The Space Elevator is one of the most magnificent Engineering projects ever conceived.  It promises abundant access to space and a multitude of benefits for humanity.  Come to the Conference and hear presentations and discussion with people working to make the Space Elevator a reality!

So, mark your calendars and make your reservations.  This Conference promises to be the most exciting ever!
2012 JSETEC Competition
Several days ago, the Japan Space Elevator Association (JSEA) held their annual JSETEC competition.  JSEA's chairman, Mr. Shuichi Ohno, sent this report:

JSETEC2012 did not achieve its goal of 1,200m height but 'only' 760m because of wind and lack of our experience (max climbing record was 700m on the belt tether).  We used 3, 170 cubic meter helium balloons to support the competition tether. We also used explosive devices to break the balloon to prevent free floating if they came loose (it was a requirement of the Civil Aviation Bureau to so equip these balloons). However, 2 of 3 devices activated incorrectly in the air.
1 reason was cable breaking due to the balloon twisting it and the other was a missed operation. Our crew repaired 2 balloons but the time was up. Also wind effects on the belt tether were huge. Down force caused on the belt tether prevent high altitude. (We expanded the 3 tethers triangle base to 350m from 200m in 2011.)

We used 3 tethers: Rope tether, Belt tether and Anchor/Operation rope. The Ropes were made with Dyneema (Toyobo's Ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene fiber, 11mm diameter). The Belt made with Technola (Teijin's poly-aramid fiber, 2mm x 35mm). These tethers will be adopted in EuSPEC (the European Space Elevator Competition).

It's clear that over 1km height, a tethered balloon system requires the next level of technology. Fortunately, many companies and local governments made offers to help us. So, we failed somewhat in the technology, but succeeded in promotion...

One of 15 climbers recorded over 80km/h climbing speed before losing its tires. The calculated max speed of recent motor and battery are over 200km/h. I believe our goal will be accomplished in the next few years. The next theme of the Climber will be the mechanical durability.

Also we intend to start our new climber tracking competition and low friction climbing competition next year. Tracking competition will be power beaming competition without laser or rays, but keeping the climber in sight. Friction competition will require climber to climb a Teflon ribbon for few meters.

I would like to ask people in the Space Elevator community to get involved in real activity to develop SE related technology, not only in theory. We (Japan and Germany) are ready to collaborate.

Our video crew recorded our activity and they are now editing a short reporting video. 

The competition video he mentioned is scheduled to be shown at the upcoming Space Elevator Conference.

The picture thumbnail is of their balloon tether-support system.  Click on the thumbnail to see a full-size version of the picture.
EUSPEC planning well under way
The second annual European Space Elevator Challenge will be held this coming October 25-28 in Munich, Germany.  From the Competition website:
For the future of Space Elevator in Europe

The objectives of European Space Elevator Challenge are,

  • to inspire young engineers and scientists - especially in Europe - about the Idea of the Space Elevator and to establish furthermore a bigger Space Elevator community in Europe
  • to share experience, improve the understanding of the Space Elevator and finally make use of this knowledge in building the real Space Elevator
  • to introduce the Space Elevator to a wider public.

Requirements and more information can be found at the Competition website.
What is ISEC?

ISEC LogoThe International Space Elevator Consortium (ISEC) is the result of a coming-together of many 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.

Our Mission Statement says it all:

"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.

Each year we adopt a theme which we use to focus our activities for that year.  For 2010, our theme was Space Debris Mitigation - Space Elevator Survivability.  For 2011 our theme was Research and thought targeted towards the goal of a 30 MYuri tether.  And for this year, 2012, our theme is Operating and Maintaining a Space Elevator.

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 eNewsletters (such as this one), 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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The International Space Elevator Consortium (ISEC) is a registered 501c3 charitable organization (EIN 80-0302896)