New Space and Tech

Space Elevator Games Come to a Close With Prize Money Handed Out

By Marc Boucher
April 8, 2013
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It was, to say the least, the most exciting of the Space Elevator Games to date, and what’s more, NASA now has to write a check in the amount of $900,000 to Lasermotive of Seattle for winning the 1st level prize.
For the Kansas City Space Pirates they came close on a couple of attempts to sharing the 1st level prize money with Lasermotive. But unfortunately they ran out of time and attempts to make it.

For the University of Saskatchewan Space Design Team (USST), considered one of the early favorites, it was not meant to be, as technical issues prevented them from climbing any significant distance during their attempts. The good news for USST and the Kansas City Space Pirates is that they can compete next year for another $1.1 in prize money which was not won this year as no team met the 5 meters per second average speed needed to claim the 2nd level prize.

The biggest technical issue teams faced this year was with their automated tracking systems. Each team subsequently used manual tracking to keep their power beam on their climbers. However given the lessons learned this year and with rapid innovations all the teams have demonstrated it would not be surprising if one of them or a new challenger won the remaining prize money next year.

Watch Lasermotive’s 1st level prize winning climb:

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