Skip to comments.The Spaceward Foundation announces details for 2006 Space Elevator Challenge
Posted on 11/16/2005 1:02:51 PM PST by tricky_k_1972
The Spaceward Foundation announces details for 2006 Space Elevator Challenge
Date Released: Wednesday, November 16, 2005
Source: Spaceward Foundation
Prize money to triple for 2006 Space Elevator competition.
Following the success of the recent 2005 Space Elevator competition held at NASA's Ames Research Center, the Spaceward Foundation announced today the details for the 2006 event, to be held on August 4th in Mountain View California, in the heart of Silicon Valley.
"The 2005 challenge was a great event for us" said Ben Shelef, founder of the Spaceward Foundation who is organizing the competitions, "and with 30 teams on the roster so far, and a first prize of $150,000 for each of two competitions, the 2006 event is looking to be even more exciting."
The top contenders in the 2005 challenge were two Canadian university teams, from the University of British Columbia and the University of Saskatchewan. The 2006 event is attracting attention from many universities including MIT, MTU, and Virginia Tech which sent an entire team to observe the 2005 competition.
The Space Elevator challenge consists of two competitions - one focused on power beaming, and the second on tether strength. These two competitions target the development of lightweight yet strong tether materials and wireless power transmission technologies, two of the key technologies required for the creation of a Space Elevator.
The Tether Challenge centers on the creation of a material that combines light weight and incredible strength. Under this challenge, teams will develop high strength materials that will be stretched in a head-to-head competition to see which tether is strongest.
The Beam Power challenge focuses on the development of wireless power technologies for a wide range of exploration purposes, such as human lunar exploration and long-duration Mars reconnaissance. In this challenge, teams will develop wireless power transmission systems, including transmitters and receivers, to power robotic climbers to lift the greatest weight possible to the top of a 50 meter (165 feet) cable, moving at least 1 m/s (3 feet per second).
The prizes for the 2006 event will total $400,000, and are provided by NASA's Centennial Challenges program. NASA's Centennial Challenges program promotes technical innovation through a novel program of prize competitions. It is designed to tap the nation's ingenuity to make revolutionary advances to support the Vision for Space Exploration and NASA goals.
The Space Elevator concept was first introduced in the 1960s and has only recently garnered serious attention due to advances in materials and power transfer technologies. If built, a Space Elevator would provide a safe, low cost, way to launch payloads such as satellites into orbit.
Interested teams are encouraged to sign up on the event website at http://www.elevator2010.org/site/competition.html. The deadline for this years registration is Jan 1st, 2006.
Hmmm... Maybe molecular wire made from buckeyballs?
Actually the best present technology concept they have come up with so far is carbon nanotubes in an epoxy matrix. The problem is in the carbon nantube manufacutre arena, getting enough of those suckers in our liftime is proving diffucult.
Carbon nanotubes= Buckytube fibers.
Now THIS is how government should do R&D, if it's gonna be done! And this is WHERE government should do R&D, if they are gonna do it at all--look into new, more efficient ways to carry out programs already delivering a public service (though NASA might not entirely qualify there).
"The Space Elevator concept was first introduced in the 1960s "
The concept of the space elevator first appeared in 1895 when a Russian scientist Konstantin Tsiolkovsky was inspired by the Eiffel Tower in Paris to consider a tower that reached all the way into space. He imagined placing a "celestial castle" at the end of a spindle-shaped cable, with the "castle" orbiting Earth in a geosynchronous orbit (i.e. the castle would remain over the same spot on Earth's surface). The tower would be built from the ground up to an altitude of 35,790 kilometers above mean sea level (geostationary orbit). Comments from Nikola Tesla suggest that he may have also conceived such a tower. Tsiolkovsky's notes were sent behind the Iron Curtain after his death.
You better find a source of unobtanium, seldomseenium, and "able to violate the laws of physicsium".
IMHO, the "Space Elevator" even rates below "Project Orion" in my list nutty ideas.
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