Beam Me Up Otis: Teams Getting Set To Take Another Shot At Space Elevator Prize

from the To-the-moon dept

Despite the fact that it sounds like something straight out of a bad sci-fi novel, there are a number folks who believe that space elevator technology represents that best way for humans to cheaply and conveniently explore outer space. As with other "out there" ideas, NASA has started holding contests to promote innovations in the area. The challenge for the teams isn't to actually build a full-fledged space elevator (that probably won't be for a while), but to build a robot that can hoist itself up 100 meters in the air on a thin carbon tether in 50 seconds. Last year, a team from Canada failed to hit the mark by just two seconds. This October, teams will have another crack at it, and assuming there's been any innovation at all, some team is likely to take home the $500,000 prize. After reaching this goal, it's just another 384,402,900 meters to go before they get to the moon!

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Aug 2007 @ 1:19pm

    this is to build the elevator...not to ride up and down it. It will be built slowly one fiber at a time until one end is firmly affixed in space then heavier and heavier equipment will work up and down it making a structure that will eventually carry an elevator to go into and out of low earth orbit.

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