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..."

July 2015
In This Issue
The President's Corner
Registration closes soon for the 2015 ISEC Space Elevator Conference
The Research Lab
Above and Beyond - New Exhibition
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 July, 2015 edition of the ISEC eNewsletter.


This is a final reminder to make your plans for the upcoming 2015 ISEC Space Elevator Conference!  ISEC will again be bringing together Engineers, Scientists, Researchers and enthusiasts to talk about and advance our understanding of the Space Elevator.  Registration closes August 16th and 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 changing attitudes towards space exploration and using commercial means to rapidly advance our conquest of space.


There is also a new interactive Flight Exhibition starting its worldwide tour on August 1st - and it prominently features the possibilities of a space elevator!  ISEC's own Conference Chair and Director Mr. David Horn was a consultant on this project.


We also have the next installment in our new column, "The Research Lab".  This column gives you insight into one 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.


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 reflects on the energies in the forefront of the space world.  Of course we have the standard launching companies and satellite builders doing extremely well.  But the reality is that there seems to be a changing perspective towards space and especially humanity's expansion within our solar system.  I will just quickly mention three recent activities that propose commercial space as a tremendous part of this expansion and the need for massive projects towards the Moon and Mars:

#1 - During the US State of the Union address, President Obama endorsed going to space "TO STAY."  "He stated that we were going to space to Stay, and then amplified the statement with an invited guest [astronaut Scott Kelly] to symbolize his commitment." [reported by Rick N. Tumlinson in SpaceNews on February 6, 2015].

#2 - Commercial Projects to put people on the Moon.  In the study, "Economic Assessment and Systems Analysis of an Evolvable Lunar Architecture that Leverages Commercial Space Capabilities and Public-Private Partnerships," the proposal is made that America could go to Mars with an economic approach by first going to the Moon for fuel and water.  This effort would require movement of people to the surface of the Moon and the suggestion is that it be accomplished though a commercial contract, similar to the movement to the International Space Station [cargo and humans].  This study was just completed [July 13, 2015] and was conducted by NASA experts and several commercial companies.  They agree that humans on Mars could be accomplished in a reasonable time period with current funding IF they used a commercial space approach.

#3 - The International Academy of Astronautics just completed a study on Space Mineral Resources suggesting that commercial mining of resources on asteroids and the Moon could lead to the robust transportation of people and robots throughout the solar system.  This could be achieved in a reasonable future because the commercial world would be driving the activities for profit.

Each of these activities is suggesting that we will be going to Mars in the near future and that commercial space will contribute heavily.  This matches the needs of the space elevator community.  A commercial thrust for space developments will demand large movements of material and people off-planet.  What would be more fitting than the development of space elevator transportation infrastructures to enable this activity with large routine movement of mass at reasonable prices.  Space Elevators do fit into the needs for human expansion into the solar system.  

Keep Climbing my Friends --  Pete Swan
Registration closes soon for the 2015 ISEC Space Elevator Conference  

Registration closes August 16th for the 2015 ISEC Space Elevator Conference.

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

You can read the official Press Release announcing the Conference here.

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 Research Lab

A couple of months ago we looked at building a comprehensive simulation tool to enable us better to understand how the tether will move in response to forces including tides and the motion of tether climbers. At the Space Elevator Conference in Seattle, there will be a mini-workshop on this topic. A closely related topic is the electrodynamics of the tether: how its behavior is affected by phenomena such as magnetic fields, solar storms and the movement of charged particles. Plasma in space will induce electric currents in the tether which can then interact with the Earth's magnetic field to cause motion. The dynamics simulation tool must be extensible so that it can be combined with the electrodynamics simulation tool.

Quite a lot is known about the radiation belts and magnetic fields in space, but we still need a comprehensive model that can feed in to the simulation.

One interesting question is whether it's possible to transmit electric power along the tether, which could be used by the climbers or to carry power from space down to Earth. That means getting a clearer understanding of the tether's resistance and capacitance, allowing for variations in its shape, geometry, and temperature. A very important question is: how much erosion will the radiation cause to the tether and how do we deal with that?

By getting answers to such questions, we can hasten the day when the first space elevator can be built.
Above and Beyond -- The Ultimate Interactive Flight Exhibition

A Space Elevator is included in a new Interactive Flight Exhibition which will begin touring August 1st, 2015.  From the article:

"With space shuttles now housed in history museums, innovators in aerospace are thinking of newer, better ways humans could reach space. One idea: What about a space elevator?

Designers at Evergreen Exhibitions in San Antonio, Texas, have been developing the new exhibition "Above and Beyond: The Ultimate Interactive Flight Exhibition" with Boeing, NASA and the Smithsonian to explore new innovations and ideas. It uses immersive videos, simulations, virtual reality, touch-tables and a 180-degree theater experience to create a hands-on, immersive experience. Curators said it is more interactive technology than the Smithsonian has ever had in an aerospace exhibit.

"Above and Beyond" will debut at one of the nation's most popular museums. The National Air and Space Museum draws nearly 7 million visitors each year on the National Mall. The exhibit runs until early January and then begins a worldwide tour through 2020. Stops will include museums in Dubai; St. Louis; Charleston, South Carolina; Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; London, Tokyo and Chicago.

One exhibit capsule will simulate the idea of a space elevator with video screens surrounding visitors to give them the feel of rising above Earth. Researchers are developing such an idea to see if it's possible to create a real capsule that could crawl up a cord from the ground to the level of orbiting the Earth."

ISEC Director David Horn worked with the Design Team on the Space Elevator scenario.

The official website for this exhibition can be found here and the official Press Release can be found here.

(This image is of the Space Elevator Exhibit.  Click on it to see a full size version and all of the images from the Exhibition Photo Gallery.)
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 and 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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