Space Elevator: January 2008

SpaceRef Interactive Inc. the company that owns and operates this site today launched a new social space news and networking service called On Orbit.

For space elevator enthusiasts and professionals the service includes a Forum dedicated to the Space Elevator. Notable space elevator figures including but not limited to Spaceward's Ben Shelef and Brad Edwards will be contributing to the forum.

From the Spaceward Foundation comes details from this years power beaming challenge. The Spaceward Foundation announces the goals for the 2008 Space Elevator Power Beaming Challenge.

"Building on the results of the 2007 Challenge, the goals for 2008 have been set at 1 km height, 5 m/s minimum speed, for a prize level of $2M.

An intermediate prize level of $900k will be given for a speed of 2 m/s. Additionally, teams that can reach an altitude of 1 km at between 1 and 2 m/s will be awarded a prize of up to $50k.

The 1-km climb will be supported by a unique pyramid-anchored balloon system, providing the teams with a stable tether to climb on. Illustrations of the challenge over two potential sites are shown at, showing the challenge as it would look if held over Meteor Crater in Arizona, and if held over the 2007 venue."

Presented here is a list of Space Elevator papers, presentations and nooks. It is a work in progress. Suggestions are welcome. Send an email to with any additions.

Happy New Year everyone! I received this update from Ben Shelef yesterday, enjoy.


Newsletter #4 - December 31, 2007

Hello folks, and Happy New Year!

It's been a while since our last newsletter - seems that whenever something's going on in Space Elevator land, we're always too busy to write. :) Two months after the 2007 games, this is a good time to briefly reflect on this past year, and update you on our next steps for '08 and beyond.

In this newsletter:

A look back at 2007
A preview of our plans for 2008
A new partner
Carbon Nanotube news

For those who missed the real-time action, the official wrap-up of the 2007 Spaceward Games is posted online at As usual, you can re-live the day-by-day coverage at the archives at Ted Semon's Space Elevator Blog and Marc Boucher's Space Elevator Reference.

The most significant result of the 2007 games, however, is not measured in units such as kilograms or in meters per second. What we saw in 2007 was a huge leap in the level of technology fielded by the teams. In particular, our two laser-based teams, USST and LaserMotive, designed and built complex advanced systems worthy of an aerospace project, and have acquired a set of capabilities that attracted industry interest to our competition. In terms of fulfilling the charter of the games, we could not have asked for more.

Looking back, you may remember that Space Elevator games did not exist before 2005. Unlike our role models – Solar car races and rocketry clubs, we did not have a rich tradition of games spanning tens of years to rely on. We started practically from scratch, and we are immensely proud of how our teams have grown.

Having wrapped up the games, our next order of business was charting the course for 2008. The immediate choices we looked at were keeping the challenge goals the same as in '07, doubling the speed or height requirements, or doubling both. However, after gathering feedback from existing and potential teams, the Space Elevator community, and relevant industry experts, we decided to go for something a bit more grandiose...


In broad strokes, the goal of the Space Elevator games is to bring the Space Elevator closer to reality. The goal of the power beaming challenge is to promote power beaming technology. We think that the time is ripe now to move the competition to the next level, addressing real-world power beaming scenarios where the minimum requirements for such systems start at the km range and kWatt power levels.