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..."

June 2015
In This Issue
The President's Corner
Registration for the 2015 Space Elevator Conference is now open!
The Historical Files
The Research Lab
The Copernicus Series
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 June, 2015 edition of the ISEC eNewsletter.


This is a near-final reminder to make your plans for the upcoming 2015 ISEC Space Elevator Conference (Early Bird rates are still available, but only for a few more days)!  ISEC will again be bringing together Engineers, Scientists, Researchers and enthusiasts to talk about and advance our understanding of the Space Elevator.  Registration details are shown later on in this edition - be there or be square!


In this issue's President's Corner, ISEC President Dr. Peter Swan talks about the upcoming space elevator conference and ISEC's need for a Publicity Director.  If you would like to contribute to the space elevator project, but don't have a very technical background, this is something that might appeal to you.  You don't have to be an engineer or a Physics or Chemistry guru to help this project become a reality!  If you are interested, see the President's Corner column for details on how to apply. 


We also have the next two installments in our new columns, "The Historical Files" and "The Research Lab".  These two columns give you insight into two of the committees established by ISEC to help further our understanding of a space elevator and to help document what has happened in this field so far.


We also bring news about a new, space-elevator themed "boot camp" in Hungary in July and, 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

This month's President's Corner has two topics: one about excitement and the other an ISEC need.  
The ISEC Space Elevator Conference has Mark Haase as a very exciting keynote speaker.  The topic is Carbon Nanotube material development status and projections from an researcher in CNTs; and, more importantly, a space elevator enthusiast.  In addition, the new ISEC year long study report on Space Elevator Architectures and Roadmaps will be given to attendees.  All this and three days of exciting discussions and papers with participation inside workshops, open for everyone.  The dates are 21-23 Aug at the Museum of Flight in Seattle.  Mark your schedules and come for an exciting time.

ISEC needs someone who is open to taking on challenges.  The Board of Directors has agreed to set up a new slot for a Director of Publicity.  This would be a full member of the board [essentially one Skype meeting a month with attendance at the conference encouraged] with the associated needs of handling the distribution of information.  The ISEC Director of Publicity is a significant role.  We have a small team that is focused on the development of an operational space elevator infrastructure.  This expectation for the new Publicity Director would include determination and expertise while recognizing the challenges within the space elevator community.  The Director of Publicity will be the "go to" person for all aspects outside the organization.  I see the Director of Publicity supporting the following:
Goal: To reach significant individuals and groups with our message.

Mission: To support the distribution of space elevator activities, knowledge, and missions.

If you are interested in this opportunity, please email me with a statement about your enthusiasm to participate and a CV of your past achievements.
Keep Climbing my Friends --  Pete Swan
Registration now open for the 2015 ISEC Space Elevator Conference- 'Early Bird' rates still available! 

ISEC is very pleased to announce that Registration is now OPEN for the 2015 ISEC Space Elevator Conference.

The Conference will be held from Friday, August 21st, through Sunday, August 23rd.

'Early Bird' rates are available through July 5th, so don't delay!

One of the themes for this year's conference will be the state of strong materials and Mark Haase, long-time proponent of strong materials and the space elevator and a PhD student at the University of Cincinnati, will be giving the Keynote address.  A synopsis of his planned talk:

Advanced Materials are critical for the development of the Space Elevator. Most prominently,  the elevator cable will require a material with a much greater tensile strength than current materials. Carbon nanotubes are an exciting material for this purpose, showing high tensile strength at the nanoscale. Despite this promise, they have not yet achieved the needed strength. Nonetheless, meaningful progress has been made.
In this presentation, we will consider the recent progress in high strength materials; focusing on carbon nanotubes, but also considering other materials. We will also consider the progress in other properties of these materials, such as conductivity. While these properties are not directly related to the development of the Space Elevator Tether, they are likely to be important in the design and development of other elevator technologies. Further, demand for these properties in other sectors will drive broader material development, making them important in enabling technologies.

The Venue will the same place we've had the conference the past three years, Seattle's Museum of Flight.  This has turned out to be a wonderful venue for the Conference and we are thrilled to be able to host the Conference here again.

Mark you calendars now - be there or be square!
The Historical Files

When the wider world took a greater interest in the concept of Space Elevator following the work done by Dr Brad Edwards and funded by NASA's Institute for Advanced Concepts (NIAC), the time was ripe for a conference.  The idea was to bring together like-minded scientists and engineers to discuss ideas, further work and progress to try and make a space elevator happen. Although there had been the occasional space elevator or tether paper presented at diverse conferences, the first conference having the space elevator as the prime topic was organized by NASA's David Smitherman in 1999; this was followed by an international conference on the space elevator organized by Brad Edwards and held in Seattle in 2002. This turned into an annual conference which subsequently spawned an international event as well as numerous sessions held, since 2004, during the yearly International Astronautical Congresses in different parts of the world.

The annual Space Elevator conference held initially at the Microsoft Convention Center in Redmond, WA and later at the Museum of Flight in Seattle is now organized by ISEC. Besides this conference and the sessions at the IAC, there have been other conferences with space elevators or tethers as the theme around the world, notably in Luxembourg organized by the European Spaceward Association, and in Japan.
The Research Lab

Elevator cars in a building are lifted by pulling on a rope, but this is not feasible for climbers on the space-elevator tether. They have to lift themselves using their own motors. Outline designs have been produced, but they need improvement if we are to achieve the goal that an empty climber should carry twice its own weight in payload. This applies to the small climbers used for constructing the main tether as well as to the production climbers that can lift a 14-ton payload. The production climbers should weigh no more than 6 tons when empty.

Two areas that need investigation are the grippers that hold a climber to the tether and the motors that provide the lifting power. As we do not yet have the tether material available, we are unsure of its exact characteristics. However, the favored material is carbon nanotubes (CNTs), and we know that CNTs are quite smooth and slippery. The challenge is to provide grippers that are strong enough to hold the climber's weight but not too heavy. Furthermore, they must not damage the tether.

Because of the interest in electric cars, some very powerful lightweight motors are now available commercially. A set of these motors powerful enough to lift the climber would weigh only one ton. However, electric cars are air cooled. Research is needed into ways of cooling similar motors in the vacuum of space. Making the motors even more efficient would also help, as that would reduce the amount of waste heat to be disposed of.

After some design simulations, we hope to fund the actual construction and testing in the laboratory of working motors and grippers.
The Copernicus Series

We'd like to inform you about an exciting new project from Exosphere, a "...a learning and problem-solving community, dedicated to leading a new generation of pioneers to bring positive change to the world through technology and social innovation."

This Chilean-based organization is hosting a "Boot Camp" in Budapest, Hungary from July 13-31, 2015 on the theme "An Endogenously-Powered Space Elevator.

From the list of Objectives:
  • The goal of the program is to design, build, and test virtual models and software libraries that model the technical development and surrounding economic environment of an Endogenously-Powered Space Elevator, which would utilize the energy generated by gravity using materials brought back to earth by space mining companies. This process would create an electrical loop, allowing satellites, scientific equipment, and other materials to be taken to space at near zero marginal cost. Split into two teams, the Technical Team and the Economics Team, the participants will further build mathematical models for an architecture capable of delivering these payloads into orbit.
You can read more about it here.
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.
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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