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Scientists continue search for tether access to Space

August 12, 2011 - UNITED STATES

The 2011 Space Elevator Conference and NASA Strong Tether competition will be held at the Microsoft Center in Redmond, Washington state. The event brings together international specialists to continue the search for access to Space that does not require rocket technology. NASA describes the space elevator -- a carbon nanotube ribbon stretching from the surface of Earth to a counterweight in Space -- as an audacious and outrageous potential mass-transit system for the next century. As part of its Centennial Challenges program, NASA has put up a $2 Million prize purse for tethers that can meet certain specific strength benchmarks. To this point no one has been able to win this prize.

The 2011 Space Elevator Conference and NASA Strong Tether competition will be held at the Microsoft Center in Redmond, Washington state. The event brings together international specialists to continue the search for access to Space that does not require rocket technology. NASA describes the space elevator -- a carbon nanotube ribbon stretching from the surface of Earth to a counterweight in Space -- as an "audacious and outrageous" potential mass-transit system for the next century. As part of its Centennial Challenges program, NASA has put up a $2 Million prize purse for tethers that can meet certain specific strength benchmarks. To this point no one has been able to win this prize. Nanotechnology is seen as a promising direction as it could provide the high-strength, low-weight fibers that would be needed for the project. . The specialists, including NASA scientists, see electromagnetic vehicles traveling along the cable as a potential mass transportation system for moving people, payloads, and power between Earth and Space. Much of the conference will focus on finding the right king of tether. The conference, titled "Developing Stronger, Lighter Tethers - "30 MegaYuris or Bust!", is organized by The Space Engineering and Science Institute (SESI).

"Audacious and Outrageous" (NASA)

Space Elevator Conference

NASA Strong Tether Competition Set for August 12th (Space Elevator Reference 12 May 2011)

Date written/update: 2011-08-12