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
    Enrico Suarve, 2 Aug 2007 @ 9:49am

    I always liked the idea

    For a tech site you guys can be pretty quick to ridicule new ideas

    I've always like the idea but as far as I'm aware the real problem has always been finding a material for the tether that doesn't need to be miles wide at the top just to be able to hold it's own weight

    Still not impossible though - materials improve all the time

    Still #3's right - it wants to be fekking amazing elevator music

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