Sunday, October 14, 2007

Mountain of Space Elevator Games News

As the Space Elevator Games approach, there's more and more news about them. First, from the Space Elevator Reference:

Two Weeks to go Before Spaceward Games 2007 AKA The Space Elevator Games - gives an overview of the upcoming games

Ben Shelef of the Spaceward Foundation on The Space Show - as announced earlier

Sir Arthur C. Clarke Looks Back at 50 Years in Space - this mentions the Games that were held last year at the X PRIZE Cup

Heading to the Spaceward Games with Webcams for Broadcasting - this is more good news for anyone who can't make it to the event

Five Days Until the Space Elevator Games - Dr. Brad Edwards gives the details on how the games have advanced this year, both in terms of the technology that the teams are bringing to the competition, as well as in terms of the complete festival atmosphere of the event. A lot of attention, in terms of how compelling the event is for a spectator to watch, is on the Climbers, but he shows that the tether challenge has its spectator appeal:

If one of the teams comes in with a winning tether they clearly will be making history because the event is precisely designed to only allow for a new high-strength material to win ... And though this event appears less flamboyant than its sibling climber competition, each year it has turned into an exciting event in its own right. The exploding tethers, the breaking of the pulling machine due to an unexpected tether strength, the issues and failure have all made this event one that we look forward to with a sense of unknowing. It has also been a more up-close and personal event so those attending may want to go early to get up-front.

If you want to be able to say you were there when it happened, don't miss the tethers!

Meanwhile, it's also been busy at the Space Elevator Blog, which has been giving us lots of news about the individual teams:

More Team News... - The Kansas City Pirates head out to the Games to compete, while Team Zero G won't be able to compete, but will be represented at the Games.

Still More Team News... - The McGill Space Elevator Team is definitely in the competition, and they'll be using microwave power beaming. The post includes some pictures of the team at work.
Videos from the Kansas City Space Pirates - There are 2 videos, 1 of "testing going badly" and 1 of the team's qualifying run, which includes a lot of setup and teardown as well as what look to me like pretty fast climbs.

2007 Space Elevator Games - 14OCT07 - Entry 1 - To me this is like the unofficial start of the games. Several teams are already there. The post includes a video of the grounds. Update (Mon Oct 15): I don't have a chance to do anything but skim the posts at the moment, but they are already up to Entry 8, and there are lots of videos and pictures. From earlier posts there I'd expect a lot more posts each day. Check them out here.

LaserMotive also had a couple recent posts - one asking which is more valuable, a high-tech CPU or the heat sink for the CPU. It all depends on the circumstances. The other is a thank you from the team members to their families and their support. Here's another thank you to them from the Space Prizes blog.

Here, a SnowStar member gets ready to leave for the games. The Vancouver Sun also has an article on the team. Here's a look at what they've been doing:

Damir Hot, Snowstar's captain, said their prototype this year is slightly more advanced - with better solar cells, for example. But the team's main focus this year has been relentless testing - making sure every element of the device works as expected. That hasn't always been easy. Most of the cranes capable of holding a 120-metre tether are booked out months in advance by the city's movie industry. And, as Vancouverites know, sunlight here is in short supply.

I hope the beam power teams are keeping their eyes on non-elevator developments like the news about possible solar power satellite interest. There are a lot of applications of power beaming and strong tethers (SPSs might be a pretty tough one, but there are some near-term ones for sure) that hopefully will give a market to these technologies to allow them to grow to be able to support the space elevator concept.