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Space elevator events point potential way into Space

August 4, 2009 - UNITED STATES

Space Elevator Games Climber/Power-Beaming competition

After several cancellations of the event, teams from the United States and Canada will compete for US $2,000,000 in prize money at the on Aug 4-7 in California and in Washington state. A space elevator is designed to send astronauts and payloads shooting up a tethered ribbon into Space. The delevopers assert the technology one day will make travel to Geostationary Earth Orbit (GEO) a daily event and transform the global economy. The Spaceward Foundation and NASA are organizing the games at Redmond, Washington, and at the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base in California. The 2009 Space Elevator Conference, at the Microsoft Conference Center in Redmond from Aug 13-17, follows the Games. 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 idea behind the space elevator, the counterweight spins around the Earth, keeping the cable straight and allowing the robotic lifters to ride up and down the ribbon. The International Space Elevator Consortium (ISEC) resulted from a gathering of leading figures and organizations working 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 to get a Space Elevator built. Because this competition will not be open to the public (due to the secure facility where it is being held), it will be televised on NASA TV and via a webcast at the official website. Jul/09

Space Elevator Games

Space Elevator Conference

ISEC

Date written/update: 2009-08-04