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..."

March 2015
In This Issue
The President's Corner
2014 Conference Mini-Workshop
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 March, 2015 edition of the ISEC eNewsletter.


In this issue's extended President's Corner, ISEC President Dr. Peter Swan discusses the recent Phoenix SpaceUp event which he attended and gave a presentation at.


This eNewsletter also contains an abbreviated summary of the third workshop held at the 2014 ISEC Space Elevator Conference.  This workshop was on creating a Roadmap to the space elevator.


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

What fun!  An unconference!  The local Phoenix Mars Society, along with the local AIAA chapter, sponsored a one-day Space-Up.  The methodology is:

"In general SpaceUp is a space unconference, also known as a user-generated conference or a BarCamp. Participants will decide the topics, schedule, and structure of the event. While other unconferences have been held about technology, science, transit, and, even, cupcakes, the SpaceUp series is focused solely on space exploration. There are no spectators at SpaceUp, only participants. All attendees are expected to give a demo, present a talk (without slides), present a T-5 Talk, or participate in a panel or roundtable.
SpaceUp, founded in 2010, has successfully been held in San Diego, Washington D.C., and Houston." [and now Phoenix]  []

The Phoenix SpaceUp involved the local community of not only space professionals, but also children, university students and all others who have a desire to learn about space.  They all share their enthusiasm and gain knowledge from others.  There was an astronaut [Charlie Walker - first commercial astronaut], multiple professors, many teachers, and of course myself.  The way it works is that the day is split up into multiple periods [30 min discussions, 15 minute break, etc.] with multiple rooms for parallel discussions.  The day starts with a blank matrix of rooms and time slots.  Participants then take yellow stickies and place them into the boxes to initiate discussions of interest.  A fascinating process and one that worked for Phoenix.  In addition to pizza, there were fantastic discussions ranging from space elevators [of course - big crowd in that session] to mining asteroids.  The day was worthwhile for me and all those who were able to Participate - no lectures, no scheduled talks, just timely discussions on topics of interest.

If you see a SpaceUp in your neck of the woods, join them and participate...  with an emphasis on space elevators of course.  It was rewarding at many levels.

"Keep Climbing my Friends!" --  Pete Swan
2014 Conference Mini-Workshop

A summary report of the Space Elevator Roadmap workshop

Examining the progress toward a Space Elevator Architecture

A summary report from the Space Elevator Roadmap mini-workshop at the International Space Elevator Conference in Seattle

Michael A. Fitzgerald
Workshop Leader
October 2014



On the last day of the 2014 Space Elevator conference in Seattle, the ISEC Roadmaps and Architecture study leads held a workshop with the attendees of the conference.   The workshop had two purposes:
  • To define the ISEC Space Elevator Architecture in five discrete segments: Climber, Tether, Marine Node, HQ/POC and Tether Tenants. Of these, the first three, representing tether operations, were discussed in detail.
  • To seek feedback from the attendees regarding demonstrations and success criteria for functions within the reviewed segments.


Segments discussed and reviewed

The workshop briefer presented graphics for the three key segments within the space elevator architecture. The graphics portrayed the path along which segments must move on their way to preliminary and then detailed implementation plans.  For the development engineers, these implementation plans are the needed series of design efforts to build the space elevator. To move toward these plans, each segment must demonstrate that necessary technologies and engineering solutions will be available for the design and development phases of the portrayed roadmap.

Observations and conclusions

The idea of exposing months of hard work to the public for inspection is always a little embarrassing. As it turned out I was not embarrassed; the attendees were warm and welcoming in their feedback. It was a wonderful, humbling moment and I am proud to have been a part of it. The engineering of the ISEC Space Elevator is underway!

Climber Segment
The climber segment roadmap addresses three primary functions of the climber:

*    Delivery of a payload to LEO & GEO altitudes
*    Repair of the tether
*    Delivery of payloads above GEO

The workshop concluded that a test and demonstration taxonomy for eight required functions was needed for these functions: structure, gripping, motor, brakes, power above 40 km altitude, power below 40 km altitude, a protective box for traversing the lower 40 km, and payload support. Climber configurations may differ between LEO destinations and destinations beyond GEO.
The feedback from the attendees was spectacular. Analysis of the feedback will continue, but at first review, the attendees sought a wide range of test & demonstration events to assure our place in the competition for venture capital as well as our collection of needed, empirical engineering knowledge.

Tether Segment
The tether segment roadmap addresses three primary roles of the tether:

*    Delivery of 100,000 km of tether to space
*    Functional knowledge of the tether, represented in a tether simulation
*    Tether control and its components

The workshop concluded that a test and demonstration taxonomy for five subjects was needed for these roles: tether dynamics; modes of tether dynamics; perturbations from the Sun, the Earth, and the Moon; climber-induced perturbations on the tether; and hazards from debris strikes on the tether.
Many conference attendees said that the set of tests, inspections and examinations needed for tether development readiness is exactly what the entire space elevator's future is all about. The tether segment comprises more unknown unknowns than the rest of the architecture.

Marine Node Segment

The marine node segment roadmap addresses four primary elements of the marine node:

*    Floating operations platform
*    Port facilities
*    Facilities support platform
*    Ocean going vessels

The workshop concluded that a test and demonstration taxonomy was needed to examine six high-priority requirements for these elements: site location for the marine node, ocean currents at that location, hazards from debris strikes on the tether, sea water status and makeup, sea floor geology and seismology, and weather in the locale.

We also sought the attendees' aid in detailing a larger and more complete set of tests needed to reach technology maturity. That information will be presented in the full version of this report on the ISEC website.

Most of these inputs from the Conference are included into the yearly report by ISEC.  This report, "Space Elevators Architectures and Roadmaps," will be published and listed on the website after 1 May 2015.  The report depended upon the conference attendees for an excellent review of the process and the details of those three segments of the space elevator.
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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