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 2013
In This Issue
The President's corner
Conference wrap-up
ISEC elects new Directors and Officers
What is ISEC?
Visit ISEC on the Web
Follow ISEC!
Quick Links
Dear Friend


The annual Space Elevator Conference ended this past weekend, and it was a very fruitful and enjoyable three days.  ISEC coordinates many of its activities around the annual Space Elevator Conference and so we've just completed one "ISEC year" and are starting another.


In this edition of the ISEC eNewsletter, incoming ISEC president Dr. Peter Swan writes his inaugural entry for "The President's corner", discussing, among other things, the workshops held at the Space Elevator Conference and the ISEC theme for 2013-2014.


Conference Chair David Horn gives us a recap of the just-completed conference and the newsletter also includes the results of the recent elections for ISEC Directors and Officers.


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The President's corner

The excitement of the ISEC sponsored Space Elevator Conference was catching. The audience interactions within the four mini-workshops [climber, operations, lunar elevator, & climber contests/experiments] and their discussions challenged the current thinking and moved the teams beyond today's concepts.  Some of the ideas were to use a "monkey climber approach" vs. wheels to connect with the tether; pure solar vs. pure laser to power climber; customer needs vs. size of tether capacity; and, the use of a strato-base as the Earth's terminus [balloons at 30+ kilometers] [maybe a platform for Red-Bull sky diving - oops almost vacuum diving].

The new slate of officers started their tenure with an exciting conference week and our new affiliation.  Next month's newsletter will have a major discussion of the new relationship with the National Space Society.  During the conference, the study report from 2013, "Space Elevator Concept of Operations," was distributed; while the 2014 study, "Space Elevator Tether Climbers," was discussed with significant inputs.  Attendees left the conference with a better understanding of where the space elevator project was and how they could contribute.  We look forward to the progress towards next year's conference where more ideas are challenged and more concepts put forth for discussions.
"Keep Climbing my Friends!"  Pete Swan
Conference wrap-up

The Space Elevator Conference and Family Science Fest was another great success this year at the Seattle Museum of Flight, August 23-25.  Jerome Pearson gave the keynote address Friday morning and provided his valuable input during the workshops and technical presentations throughout the weekend.  We had many new attendees this year at the technical conference contributing a diverse set of new ideas.  This year's theme, Tether Climbers, yielded a great set of presentations on the engineering challenges for the climbers.  The workshops on tether climbers, lunar elevators, balloon experiments, and space elevator operations allowed everyone at the conference to provide their ideas and participate in the future of the space elevator.  The Saturday dinner banquet in the museum's Space Gallery was a great event to get to know one another and included 30-minute tours of the space shuttle full fuselage trainer.  
The Family Science Fest on Saturday was highlighted by ten teams competing in the youth robotics challenge sending their robots climbing up 25 ft ribbons to "place satellites in orbit."  Many local science, education, and engineering groups provided exhibits and displays throughout the museum including the Pacific Science Center and the Seattle chapter of the National Space Society (with whom ISEC is now affiliated).  The science fest was combined with another STEM event that same weekend put on by Honeywell, and they even donated prizes for our scavenger hunt.
The conference committee and volunteers are ready to get started on next year's conference.  We are now finalizing the technical conference proceedings from this year's conference and working on the dates for next year's conference and family science fest.  Many thanks go out to the Museum of Flight for providing such a wonderful venue for the conference.  We will be back!
David Horn
Conference Chair
ISEC elects new Directors & Officers

To conform with ISEC Bylaws, ISEC Officers are elected to 4-year terms while Directors are elected to an initial 1-year term and then 3-year terms after that.

At the August ISEC Board Meeting, held the day before the recent conference, three Directorships were up for renewal, David Horn, Ben Shelef and Martin Lades.  David Horn and Martin Lades were both unanimously re-elected as Directors.  Ben Shelef, sadly, has resigned as an ISEC Director as he is devoting all of his time getting his new business up and running.  David and Martin will both serve three-year terms, through August of 2016.

Also at this meeting, a new slate of Officers was proposed and unanimously elected by the Board.  The new officers are:
  • President - Peter Swan, Ph.D.
  • Vice-President - Robert "Skip" Penny
  • Secretary - Martin Lades, Ph.D.
  • Treasurer - Ted Semon
These officers will serve until the next election date, August of 2017.
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"

Each year we adopt a theme which we use to focus our activities for that year.  For 2010-2011, our theme was Space Debris Mitigation - Space Elevator Survivability.  For 2011-2012 our theme was Research and thought targeted towards the goal of a 30 MYuri tether.  For 2012-2013, our theme was Operating and Maintaining a Space Elevator.  And for 2013-2014, our theme is Architecture & Roadmaps.

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!

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