Space Elevator September Update

Status Report From: Spaceguard Foundation
Posted: Thursday, September 15, 2005

Hello Folks, greetings from Elevator Central.

Three items on our agenda today:
-- Infinet team status
-- Tether competition
-- Competition day

As many of you have noted, the Infinet team is based at Gulfport, Mississippi, and we have not been able to contact them since the storm struck - until yesterday. Michael Flora emailed in, they have sustained major damage to their shop but he's scrambling to catch up and, in his peculiar choice of words "I plan to be at the competition come hell or high water". I'm sure he can use some public support - the team's contacts are (as usual) at

Interest in the tether competition has been growing in the last couple of weeks. We now have 3 teams that have emailed us the Notice of intent, and we're taking them through the registration process. There's also some preliminary interest from other groups, so we're definitely looking good. We're on track with our tug-of-war tether pulling machine (image attached)

Competition Day:
We've been getting a lot of inquiries about public attendance.

This being only the first annual Space Elevator games, our focus will be on the competition itself rather than on the logistics of a major public event. Still, we are working on provisions for some public viewing, though most likely we will only be able to accommodate a limited number of spectators at any given time. Details will be made available as we finalize the agreement with our hosts.

The best way to get a backstage pass (into the team/VIP area) is to volunteer! And with that, I'm handing the microphone to Vern McGeorge, who is organizing many of the competition day activities:

The 2005 Beam Power and Strong Tether Competitions are upon us. These competitions will start Friday morning, October 21st and wrap up Sunday afternoon, October 23rd.

This will mark two historic achievements. It will be the first competition to be held on behalf of NASA's Centennial Challenges Program. Second, it will be the debut of working space elevator climbers in a public setting.

All the magazine articles, academic papers, conferences and Internet chatter that we have experienced over the last four years are all well and good, but nothing will compare to the sight of climbers ascending on a beam of light.

We're starting early on Friday to give the media some wicked cool B-roll footage of a fully lit up climber against the pre-dawn sky. Seeing is believing and this will mark a major milestone on the road to getting the first space elevator built.

We want to use this first competition as an opportunity to work out the kinks (ours and the teams) before the 2006 competition which will likely be held during the summer. The 2006 competition will be a major public event. So, the best way to view the climbers up close is to volunteer to help us run the event. The pay sucks (while NASA has pledged considerable prize money, they provide zero operational funding), but we'll feed you, give you a cool T-shirt, invite you to the parties and you'll have an opportunity to rub elbows with the teams and with other individuals who are working to make our achievable dream a reality. It's your chance to be a witness to history.

Would you like to help us change the world?

If this sounds appealing to you, please contact Vern McGeorge at (650) 969-2010 or vern at

Sincerely yours,

The Spaceward Team

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