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..."

February 2015
In This Issue
Article Headline
Membership Drive!
Dr. Peter Swan and SpaceUp
Article Headline
Why Space Elevators?
ISEC Affiliations
What is ISEC?
ISEC Corporate Sponsors
Visit ISEC on the Web
Follow ISEC!
Quick Links
Dear Friend,


Welcome to the February, 2015 edition of the ISEC eNewsletter.


In this issue's extended President's Corner, ISEC President Dr. Peter Swan discusses the role(s) of ISEC in Space Elevator Development.  This issue also contains information about a SpaceUp event in March that Dr. Swan will be giving a presentation at.


This eNewsletter also contains a "Last Call" for our second annual Membership Drive where you can join or renew your ISEC membership at a reduced rate and the opportunity to win a $25,000 prize in the "Grand Challenges" competition!


Finally, we have the latest installment in the series "Why Space Elevators?"


And please don't forget to LIKE US on Facebook, FOLLOW US on Twitter and enjoy the photos and videos that we've posted on Flickr and YouTube - all under our Social Identity of ISECdotORG.


Thank you! 



The President's Corner

The role of the International Space Elevator Consortium is to lead the refinement of space elevator concepts towards the future.  There are many areas where we can make a difference because we care and we dedicate time and energy towards solutions.  Some of the topics that ISEC has studied are:  space elevator survivability from space debris, operations concept of a space elevator, and design characteristics of tether climbers.  Two on-going studies are:  space elevator architectures and roadmaps along with a study for design characteristics of the Marine Node.  Each of the study areas was looked at and discussed in detail with ideas and improvements from mid-2010 baseline designs.  

In addition, ISEC is responsible for keeping track of developments of the principle technology which could enable the concept.  Materials for the 100,000 km tether have been discovered and are being developed around the world for many reasons.  The principle drivers for tensile strength CNTs are projects such as composite bodies for airlines or cars and high tensile strength ropes for elevators, gondolas or bridges.  Each of these commercial drivers for material development is important towards refinement of the space elevator enabling material.  The frustration of not having a material to start our full-up design is real.  However, as researchers understand, discoveries and leapfrog improvements happen randomly and cannot be scheduled.  But, in addition, researchers know that most projected improvements in materials occur in surprising ways - many times when unexpected.  

Key to our responsibilities at ISEC is that we must proceed with a total project design characterization, and hope for an early breakout of strong and light material sufficient for our cable.  CNT's, in management parlance, are a disruptive technology with a deceptive growth pattern.  The necessary breakthrough could be next week or many years from now.

We, at ISEC, believe our task is to keep charging ahead on all aspects of space elevators that we can effectively develop and plan for ["hope for"] a breakout of material capability.  

Keep Climbing my Friends --  Pete Swan
Membership Drive - Last Call!

This is LAST CALL for the 2015 ISEC Membership drive.  The reduced rates, noted below, are only good through the end of February, so don't delay! During this month new members may join and current members can renew at a reduced rate!

Those who join or renew at the Professional level will only have to pay $58, a $10 discount from the normal $68 rate. Professional level members are entitled to receive the most recent print and electronic versions of any ISEC Publication.  These include any issue of CLIMB, the Space Elevator Journal or any ISEC Report.

Those who join or renew at the Student level will only have to pay $20, a $5 discount from the normal $25 rate.  Student level members are entitled to receive the most recent electronic version issue of any ISEC Publication.  These include any issue of CLIMB, the Space Elevator Journal or any ISEC Report.

So, take advantage of the reduced rates, visit the ISEC member join/renew page and join or renew your membership in February!
Dr. Peter Swan to give talk at SpaceUp

On March 7th, Dr. Peter Swan, the president of ISEC, will give a presentation at SpaceUp Phoenix.  He will talk about Space Elevators and the current state of development and will interact with the crowd to answer questions.

If you are going to be in the Phoenix area at that time and would like to speak to Dr. Swan or just learn more about Space Elevators, then be sure to Sign Up to attend.

And, you can "Like" the SpaceUp Phoenix Facebook page to stay current with the event.

"SpaceUp is a space unconference, where participants decide the topics, schedule, and structure of the event. Unconferences have been held about technology, science, transit, and even cupcakes, but this is the first one focused on space exploration."
Last Call for "Grand Challenge entries"!

ISEC supports STEM activities from across the world and hopes to lay out this special opportunity for USA students.  As this is a time critical situation, we have published an announcement for our students to think about.  ISEC believes we will provide an engineering marvel when the first few space elevators are in operations.  This belief should lead to Grand Challenges that can be fulfilled.

As explained in more detail below, the contest requires creating a short video about one or more of the "Grand Challenges", a video that will show how achieving these Challenges will improve life here on earth.   For this contest, perhaps you would like to create a video to promote the concept of Space Elevators improving the world.  For example, to address the Grand Challenge of "Make solar energy economical", one could show how space elevators could greatly facilitate the implementation of space based solar power and make world-wide electricity almost free.

We especially support the idea of students dreaming of their impacts upon the future.

Details are below - the Deadline date is March 2nd, so don't delay!

From the National Academy of Engineering

Throughout history, engineering has advanced civilization from the way we connect with each other, to the way we heal, to how we get around, and simply have fun. But society still faces major obstacles.

The National Academy of Engineering (NAE) has outlined 14 game-changing opportunities for the 21st century called the Grand Challenges for Engineering. We want you to review the 14 Grand Challenges, and then create and submit a one to two minute video that shows how achieving one or more of the NAE Grand Challenges for Engineering will lead to a more sustainable, healthy, secure, and/or joyous world!

The Grand Prize of $25,000 will go to the most inspiring video. We hope that you will participate in the contest and also encourage those in your communities to enter as well!

The E4U2 Video Contest is open for video submissions from January 5, 2015 to March 2, 2015.

Visit to learn more! For any additional questions, please email [email protected].
ISEC Affiliations

National Space Society Update - "The annual International Space Development Conference (ISDC) is the keynote event of the National Space Society (NSS), bringing together leading managers, engineers, scientists, educators, and business people from civilian, military, commercial, entrepreneurial, and grassroots advocacy space sectors. ISDC has been held in various locations throughout North America since 1982, featuring renowned speakers such as Buzz Aldrin, Eric Anderson, Charles Bolden, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Peter Diamandis, Lori Garver, Richard Garriott, Bill Nye, Elon Musk, Seth Shostak, Simon 'Pete' Worden, and many others. ISDC also features plenary talks, keynote speakers, multi-disciplinary tracks, exhibit hall, design contests, book signing, and more."  This year's conference will be in Toronto [May 20-24, 2015] with the theme of:  "Our Next Breakthroughs in Space Technologies."
What is ISEC?

The 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 2009-2010, our theme was Space Debris Mitigation - Space Elevator Survivability.  For 2010-2011 our theme was Research and thought targeted towards the goal of a 30 MYuri tether.  For 2011-2012, our theme was Operating and Maintaining a Space Elevator.  For 2012-2013, our theme was Tether Climbers and for 2013-2014, our theme is Architecture & Roadmaps. For 2014-2015, ISEC has two themes; The Marine Node and a Materials Review.

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 CLIMB 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)

Thank you, Corporate Sponsors !

The lifeblood of any organization such as ours is the support we receive from our members - and we thank them all.  We especially want to thank our Corporate Sponsors who have contributed funds and resources to ISEC at a higher level.

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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