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Friday, 10 July 2009


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 ..."

The ISEC e-Newsletter - Issue #1 - July, 2009


The Space Elevator Games are ON!


The Spaceward Foundation and NASA have announced that the Space Elevator Games Climber / Power-Beaming competition has been scheduled for August 5-7 at the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base in California.

From the Press Release: "We are thrilled to be working with the people at NASA HQ and Dryden” said Ben Shelef, Founder of the Spaceward Foundation, host of the Space Elevator games. 'NASA is a symbol of mankind's quest to explore space and Dryden is the symbol of beyond-cutting-edge technology development. The people and atmosphere here are everything the ‘Right Stuff' was all about. This year's challenges will feature several teams from the US and Canada competing for $2,000,000 of prize money, and it promises to be a spectacular race. Most of the teams competing this year are veterans of past competitions and they are now the experts in this field.'"

The official website for these games is  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.  In addition, the official website will show interviews, team standings, blog posts from the competition, clips from previous year's competitions, etc. - in short, everything you need to stay on top of the Games.

Ben Shelef, the CEO of the Spaceward Foundation (host of the Space Elevator Games), gives us this latest update:

  "The latest and greatest in Space Elevator gamesland!

We're almost, almost, almost there. For those of you not following the Games blog (, the Power Beaming challenge is scheduled for August 5 through 7, (Wed – Fri) coupled with a Space Elevator symposium on site on Tuesday, August 4. The Tether Strength challenge will be held on Aug 13th at the Space Elevator conference in Redmond, Washington.

The last few weeks have been filled with excitement as we ramped up testing both at Dryden and at individual team facilities. Scroll down the blog and you'll see images from testing at LaserMotive's digs in Seattle (yum!) and further back the results of Kansas City Space Pirates' test runs at the lakebed at Dryden.

We flew the helicopter/tether configuration, but didn't get to finish the test 100% due to a mechanical problem, and so have to re-fly the tests. In addition, we'll have another qualification window for laser testing – all will happen between July 21 and July 24. This will be the chance to see what USST (winner of all previous Games) have up their sleeves. (Due to a string of issues, they could not get qualified last time, having driven from and back to Saskatchewan basically for nothing - though we did all get a chance to admire the paint job on their truck!

Once we're through this set of tests, it is full steam ahead for the Games – there will be very little at the Games that we didn't test previously, so we'll have a high degree of confidence that things will go as planned and the teams will see the fruits of their labor – between 2 and 4 years in the making!

More soon!"

You can read the complete Spaceward press release here (note that the dates of the competition have changed since the press release date.  Check the official website of the Games for the latest information and schedule).

What is ISEC?

The International Space Elevator Consortium (ISEC) is the result of a coming-together of 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.

From our bylaws:

"... ISEC promotes the development, construction and operation of a space elevator as a revolutionary and efficient way to space for all humanity ..."

Our plan of action is based on four pillars: Technology, Law, Business, and Outreach:

Each of the pillars is headed by a pillar lead, who functions much like a university's department head. Their job is to start initiatives (projects), pursue collaborations, guide project leads and prospective project leads in pursuing their individual projects, and generally increase the activity level of their pillar.

If you agree with us that building a Space Elevator should be a priority for all of us and you would like to help make this happen, please Join Us!  Benefits include e-newsletters (such as this one), an e-magazine and e-journal and other items listed on our sign-up page.

Come and join us and help make the future happen!

Why should you join ISEC?

#5] You want to know where your mother's yarn has gone.
#4] Bragging rights – be the first on your block to be a card carrying member
#3] Great Pick-up lines at Cocktail Party
#2] Develops your unassailable credibility as a rocket scientist
#1] Self Satisfaction at furthering space exploration – Actually you ARE!

(*With thanks to Peter Swan and apologies to Mr. Letterman...)

The Japan Space Elevator Games

Japan, too, is holding their version of the Space Elevator Games.  This is their first-ever competition and is entitled the Japan Space Elevator & Technical Competition (JSETEC) - "Climb me to the moon".

This competition will be held on Saturday, August 8th, and Sunday, August 9th at Nihon University in Chiba Prefecture, Japan.  For more details, you can visit their website at

The 2009 Space Elevator Conference

The 2009 Space Elevator Conference will be held from Thursday, August 13th through Sunday, August 16th, at the Microsoft Conference Center in Redmond, Washington.  A full and varied set of activities are planned; everything from "Family Day", where the concept of a Space Elevator is presented to families and others who may be new to the idea, to Roadmap workshops to in-depth presentations on the state of the various technologies necessary to build a Space Elevator.  Corporate sponsors so far include the Space Engineering and Science Institute (SESI), the JPL Space Foundation and the Microsoft corporation.

The official conference website is and here you can stay current with the latest conference developments and  register to participate or attend.  We hope to see you there!

EuroSpaceward to hold its third annual conference in December

On December 5th and 6th, 2009, EuroSpaceward will host it's 3rd International Conference on the Space Elevator, CNT (carbon nanotube) Tether design & Lunar industrialization challenges.  More details on this conference will be coming soon.  Visit the EuroSpaceward website to register.

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!

If this newsletter has been forwarded to you, you can also sign up to be on our mailing list so you don't miss a thing!



Posted by jplspace at 12:20 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, 10 July 2009 12:24 PM EDT
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