Space Elevator: October 2009

There is less then one week to go before the 2009 NASA sponsored Power Beaming Centennial Challenge, AKA the Space Elevator Games, with up to $2,000,000 in prize money gets underway.

Ben Shelef of the SpaceWard Foundation reports that he has secured a date for this years Power Beaming Challenge AKA the Space Elevator Games with up to $2,000,000 in NASA Centennial Challenge prize money at stake now that the previous technical issues have been resolved. Three teams have qualified for the games with a fourth attempting to qualify. It appears that this time around someone will win at least level 2 in prize money. The competition is scheduled for the week of November 2 at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base near Mojave, California.

se-test.jpgRecently Ben Shelef led a team of volunteers to the selected testing grounds near Olympia, Washington for the second round of testing for the helicopter - cable system for the games. In the first test they used a 1000' cable and in the second test they used a 4300' cable system. This second test was a general rehearsal for the games and was successful.

The test was conducted using a GPS hover-aid for the helicopter and the new Virtual Bob (R) motion-arrestor system along with a battery powered climber.

At this point with all the big issues resolved the Space Elevator Games appear to be a go. A date needs to be set and Ben is working with the venue, most likely NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center, to get dates. I assume a test of the new improved system will need to be conducted at Dryden before the official competition is to start.