Space Elevator Company Co-Founder Forms New Venture

Press Release From: Liftport
Posted: Monday, March 17, 2003

LiftPort Dedicated to Development of Commercial 'Railroad' To Space

The president and co-founder of HighLift Systems, the Seattle-based company that received funds from NASA to research building an elevator to space, today announced the formation of a new company dedicated to the commercial development of a thoroughfare to space. LiftPort Inc., established by Michael Laine, will focus on the construction phase of the space elevator, as well as the creation of commerce in space.

Laine will serve as president of the new company, which he is starting as a direct result of the completion of the NASA funds.

"Now that the NASA grant is ending, it's important to take the space elevator concept from research to commercial development," said Laine. "Through companies such as HighLift Systems and Eureka Scientific, the initial Phase I and Phase II research reports have been completed. Now it's time to actively take the research and turn this into commercial development."

The space elevator concept has been the subject of research by the scientific community for more than half a century. Through organizations such as Eureka Scientific and HighLift, as well as NASA's own efforts, the initial research reports on building a space elevator have been completed. As proposed in these reports, the space elevator will consist of a carbon nanotube ribbon stretching some 62,000 miles from earth to space. The elevator will be anchored to an offshore sea platform near the equator in the Pacific Ocean, and to a small counterweight in space. Mechanical lifters will move up and down the ribbon, carrying such items as satellites, solar power systems and, eventually, people into space.

"While HighLift Systems was one of several groups dedicated to the initial research on the project, LiftPort is focused on making the space elevator a reality," said Laine.

Laine is in the process of assembling a team of technology, marketing and operations staff for the newly formed company.

Headquartered in Bremerton, Wash., LiftPort Inc. is a privately held company dedicated to the development of the first elevator to space. The company is located at 245 4th Street, Suite 508, Bremerton, Wash. 98337. More information can be obtained at the company's web site at Contact:

     Belinda Young Public Relations
     Belinda Young, 206/932-3145 (Press)
     LiftPort Inc.
     Michael Laine, 360/377-0623 (Investors)

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