Posted: Wednesday, June 25, 2003
LiftPort Inc., the space elevator company, today announced the support for the space elevator concept by the National Space Society, one of the leading grassroots space advocacy organizations.
A revolutionary means of traveling into space, the space elevator concept has been the subject of research by the scientific community for more than half a century. Through private research organizations such as Eureka Scientific and HighLift Systems as well as NASA, 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.
According to NSS Executive Director Brian Chase, the organization's support of the space elevator concept will include educating the public and policymakers on the space elevator and its benefits. NSS recognizes the space elevator as one potential solution to overcoming barriers to settling space as outlined in its "Roadmap to Space Settlement."
"While it is important to support current space transportation systems, we believe it is also vital to examine and invest in potential breakthrough technologies -- technologies that may require a high level of innovation and fundamental research, but have the potential to dramatically change our concept of space transportation," said Chase. "One such potential breakthrough development is the space elevator. If successful, it would revolutionize space travel. We look forward to working with LiftPort to advance the space elevator concept."
Founded by space pioneer Wernher von Braun, the National Space Society (NSS) is one of the preeminent nonprofit organizations dedicated to the creation of a spacefaring civilization. Its key activities include educating and raising awareness among policymakers on the benefits of the exploration, development, and settlement of space. LiftPort Inc. is a privately held company dedicated to the commercial development of the first elevator to space. The company is headed by Michael Laine, the president and co-founder of HighLift Systems, the Seattle-based research company that extended the work of NASA's Institute for Advanced Concepts (NIAC) in investigating the building of an elevator to space.
LiftPort Inc. is located at 245 4th Street, Suite 508, Bremerton, Wash. 98337. More information can be obtained at the company's web site at www.liftport.com. The National Space Society is headquartered at 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, S.E. Suite 201 Washington, DC 20003. For more information on the NSS, please go to the organization's web site at www.nss.org.
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