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Space Elevator: February 2011


The theme of the 2011 Space Elevator Conference is: Developing Stronger, Lighter Tethers - "30 MYuri or Bust" and seems appropriate as without advances in tether strength there won't be any material to build a space elevator in the future. So for those interested in contributing to the Space Elevator Conference the call for papers has now gone out.

The International Space Elevator Consortium (ISEC) has released its first position paper titled Space Elevator Survivability Space Debris Mitigation in the form of a 76 page self-published book. Authored by Cathy Swan, Peter Swan and Robert "Skip" Penny the report states unequivocally that space debris will not be a show stopper for the space elevator.

"The International Space Elevator Consortium has placed this position paper as a recognition that the space debris problem is an engineering one and can be mitigated. The question: "Will space debris be a show stopper for space elevators?" is answered emphatically. NO! The mitigation concepts presented change the issue from a perceived problem to an engineering concern; but, by no means is it a significant threat. This pamphlet illustrates how the development office for a future space elevator can attack this problem, predict probabilities of collision, and convert the concern into another manageable engineering problem."

iac2010.jpgAt the 61th International Astronautical Congress in Prague the Space Elevator and Tethers session was chaired by Dr. Peter A. Swan of Teaching Science and Technology, Inc. The session had ten papers of which eight are now available with the other two only providing abstracts. In addition several have made available their presentations. For your reference, here they are: