The Space Elevator Climber Competition and Sponsorship

About three weeks from now (Oct. 20-22) the X-Prize Cup will be in full swing. The organizers are expecting about 20,000 people to attend and extensive media coverage. It will be quite an event and all the more so because Spaceward’s climber and tether challenges will be there.

Photo from the 2005 Space Elevator Competition
Photo from the 2005 Space Elevator competition.

The X-Prize Cup are an off-shoot of the incredibly successful X-Prize (top news story of 2004) and will be showcasing the new surge and developments in private space efforts. One of the efforts that the X-Prize Cup founder Peter Diamandis worked to bring to the event is the space elevator challenges. Last year, the climber and tether challenges were not open to the public but still hit the media in a big way with coverage by CNN and many others. This year there are a dozen excellent climber teams with advanced designs. Being privy to some of the design elements I can say that the climbers will be impressive! Beyond the fun and excitement of the event the climbers are approaching the technical specifications and performance that is required for the real space elevator. The climbers will have the lightweight structures, excellent power beaming systems, high performance motors and serious payload carrying capability. This event will be impressive and fortunately documented by Discovery, Nova, and a full set of other filmmakers.

Photo from the 2005 Space Elevator Competition
Photo from the 2005 Space Elevator competition.

The main issue that is coming up and one urgent need is filling out the sponsorship of the space elevator challenges. Spaceward has been working to make the event a tremendous success but such new and unique events are often not the favorite of sponsors. Fantastic opportunities still exist for corporate sponsors to reach an immediate audience of 20,000 people and an extended population both nationally through CNN and other media. But the exposure goes well beyond even these – the documentaries being filmed will be viewed repeatedly in the coming months and for many years to come. Talking with Ben Shelef at Spaceward they have openings for signage behind the climbers during their ascent, throughout the staging areas and possibly even room for a booth at the base of the ribbon – all prime visibility. There are three weeks left and if a space elevator enthusiast can help connect up a sponsor with Spaceward I am sure they would greatly appreciate it and in the long run so will the sponsor.

For full disclosure, I must state that I (Brad Edwards) am a member of the Spaceward board so officially part of that organization.

Photo from the 2005 Space Elevator Competition
Photo from the 2005 Space Elevator competition.

Please follow SpaceRef on Twitter and Like us on Facebook.