Space Elevator: October 2004

The following papers have been added to the documents section. We now have 13 of the 16 papers presented.

  • Space Elevator Base Leg Architecture, Dr. Peter A. Swan, Teaching Science and Technology, Inc. (Session IAC-04-IAA.
  • Technology Development and Demonstration Concepts for the Space Elavator, David V. Smitherman, Jr, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center (Session IAC-04-IAA.
  • Safe Space Elevator – An Expectation to be Met Through a System Architecture Approach, Dr. Peter A. Swan, Teaching Science and Technology, Inc. (Session IAC-04-IAA.
  • The Space Elevator: Economics and Applications, Dr. David Raitt, European Space Agency – ESTEC (Session IAC-04-IAA.

The Skinny on Nanotubes, Business Week

"Beyond chips, the proposed applications are even more spectacular, such as superefficient power cables and all-but-impenetrable armor. There's even talk of building a "space elevator" -- in effect, a giant ladder that would dispense with rockets and allow payloads to be hoisted into low orbit."

The following papers have been added to the documents section. We now have 9 of the 16 papers presented.

  • Tethers as Far Mission Descent-Return Tools, Dr. Radu D. Rugescu, University “Politehnica” of Bucharest, (Session IAC-04-IAA.
  • Disposal of Geosynchronous Satellites by Earth-Oriented Tethers, V. A. Chobotov, The Aerospace Corporation, (Session IAC-04-IAA.
  • Design of a High-Tension Elastically Deforming Space Tether Deployer, Bas Lansdorp, Delft University of Technology, (Session IAC-04-IAA.
  • On the Performance of a Motorized Tether Using a Ballistic Launch Method, David J. McKenzie, University of Glasgow, (Session IAC-04-IAA.

It has been brought to my attention that the "Suggest a Story" form was giving some people errors. The problem has been fixed. To all those people I did not respond to I am curently revieving submissions as they were saved in our database and will get back to you if need be.

Thank you.
Marc Boucher

I've added the following paper, Space Elevator Systems Level Analysis by Bryan Laubscher of the Los Alamos National Laboratory (Session IAC-04-IAA. to the documents section.

More to come.

Original artwork for 1960 Pravda article by Yuri Artsutanov
Roger G. Gilbertson of the Robot Store has managed to find a microfilm copy of Yuri Artsutanov's original article, "To the Cosmos by Electric Train" published by Pravda in 1960.

He has provided the Space Elevator Reference with a copy of the original story in Russian and an English translation he had commissioned. You can find "To the Cosmos by Electric Train" in our documents section.

Here's an excerpt: "Preparation for the cosmic launching of a contemporary rocket requires not one day, but more than one month. Yes, of course, these are just the first steps man is taking beyond the limits of his own planet. Still, in the future the construction of rockets will not change in principle, and even in the future the first stage of the flight of a cosmic liner will be accompanied by the furious effort of strained engines, by the immense expenditure of fuel, by protecting of passengers from high acceleration — which must be maximal in order to escape more quickly from the chains of Earth's gravity. Flight into the cosmos with the help of a rocket will never be like an outing on a boat or a trip on a tram."

The article by Artsutanov is credited as being the first to begin developing the Space Elevator concept. This is confirmed by Sir Arthur C. Clarke who describes the history of the Space Elevator in his 1981 paper "The Space Elevator: 'Thought Experiment', or Key to the Universe? ".

Brad Edwards speaks at the Tuesday session of IAC 2004.
For the first time, this years annual International Astronautical Congress had sessions on Space Elevator technology.

The final program from the 55th International Astronautical Congress held in Vancouver, Canada between October 4-8, included two sessions on Space Elevator's. The first, Space Elevator Ribbons and Tethers in Space (IAC-04-IAA.3.8.2) was held Tuesday, October 5. The second, Space Elevators: Systems Architecture and Technology Development (IAC-04-IAA.3.8.3) was help Thursday, October 7.

I attended parts of both sessions and will provide a report on my thoughts at a later date. However I can report the sessions were well attended, with about 75 people for the second session, which was about room capacity.

I have begun to contact all the authors for permission to post their papers on this site as I try to develop a comprehensive collection of published material on Space Elevators. I am to happy to report that the authors that have responded so far have all agreed. This includes Brad Edwards, Jerome Pearson and Kilian Engel. Their papers can be found in the Space Elevator Reference documents section.