Discover the World News Forecast . . . FIRST in Foresight Journalism

Japan holds its first Space Elevator Games

August 8, 2009 - JAPAN

Japan's first space elevator contest -- the Japan Space Elevator & Technical Competition - Climb me to the Moon -- will be held at Nihon University in Chiba Prefecture. Japan is a member of the International Space Elevator Consortium (ISEC), the governing body for the now multi-country effort to develop the technology that could one day present a low-cost alternative to rockets. The robotic space elevator would send astronauts and payloads shooting spaceward on a tethered ribbon.

Japan's first space elevator contest -- the Japan Space Elevator & Technical Competition - Climb me to the Moon -- will be held at Nihon University in Chiba Prefecture. Japan is a member of the International Space Elevator Consortium (ISEC), the governing body for the now multi-country effort to develop the technology that could one day present a low-cost alternative to rockets. The robotic space elevator would send astronauts and payloads shooting spaceward on a tethered ribbon. In Japan, the idea of the space elevator was introduced immediately following the 1960 publication of Yuri Artsutanov's article in the Russian Pravda newspaper. The idea captured the public's imagination, and in the following years, tens of animations, cartoons and novels were released incorporating a Space Elevator. According to "How Stuff Works," a carbon nanotubes composite ribbon anchored to an offshore sea platform would stretch to a small counterweight approximately 62,000 miles (100,000 km) into space. Mechanical lifters attached to the ribbon would then climb the ribbon, carrying cargo and humans into space, at a price of only about US $100 to US $400 per pound (US $220 to US $880 per kg). The encyclopedia likens the technology to the tetherball game, in which a rope is attached at one end to a pole and at the other to a ball. "In this analogy, the rope is the carbon nanotubes composite ribbon, the pole is the Earth and the ball is the counterweight. ... the ball is placed in perpetual spin around the pole, so fast that it keeps the rope taut. The counterweight spins around the Earth, keeping the cable straight and allowing the robotic lifters to ride up and down the ribbon. Jul/09

Japan Space Elevator & Technical Competition

ISEC

Date written/update: 2009-08-08