Seattle Team Robot Wins Space Elevator Challenge

Arthur C. Clarke brought this idea to the forefront in his 1979 novel "The Fountains of Paradise", but the idea dates back to 1895 when Konstantin Tsiolkovsky proposed “a free-standing tower reaching from the surface of Earth to geostationary orbit.”  Over the years, the idea has gone from impossible to a competition to build a robotic climber to demonstrate the feasibility of this concept.  Here are two stories on the prize winners from this contest.  Also, check out the 2009 Space Elevator Games website.  Go to You Tube to see video of this amazing robot in action.

LaserMotive Wins

(NASA photo / Tom Tschida)

Andy Petro of NASA's Centennial Challenges program congratulates Tom Nugent and Jordan Kare of the LaserMotive team that won the Space Elevator Power-Beaming Challenge Games at NASA Dryden Nov. 6, as Ben Shelef of the sponsoring Spaceward Foundation looks on. LaserMotive won the second-tier award of $900,000 by propelling their laser-powered robotic climber up a 900-meter cable suspended from a hovering helicopter in 3 minutes and 48 seconds.

Dryden Flight Research Center

Powered by a ground-based laser pointed up at the robot's photo voltaic cells that converted the light into electricity, the LaserMotive machine completed one of its climbs in about three minutes and 48 seconds, good for second-place money.

Seattle team wins $900,000 in Space Elevator Games – KTTC
(author unknown)
Sun, 08 Nov 2009 09:15:00 GMT

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