View Full Version : Space Elevator Science - Climb to the Sky - A Tethered Tower

08-31-2012, 04:22 PM
Space Elevator Science - Climb to the Sky - A Tethered Tower
It’s Space Elevator research! Smart robots climbing 2 km straight up. The Ribbon is held aloft by large helium balloons.
This project will be funded on Thursday Sep 13, 6:07am EDT.


Who is LiftPort Group?

IMPORTANT: We have a lot of rewards – on purpose – because we have a complex new project and a 10 year legacy (and fan support) for the old project. We’re trying to satisfy folks that are interested in each aspect – near- mid- and long-term elements of building the Space Elevator. Also, we’ve created a lot of rewards (14) under $51 – that’s more than some Kickstarter campaigns use as their complete rewards list. We did this on purpose, too.

Please scan our reward levels, even if you can’t afford to commit at the higher price points. We’re doing some pretty interesting stuff we’d like you to know about; some of which is only described in the rewards list.

Maybe you know someone at work, or school, or a relative, that might want to get involved? We’d appreciate their support as well as yours.
Newsweek Magazine: #4 "Invention that will Change the Century"; Our Elevator to SpaceNewsweek Magazine: #4 "Invention that will Change the Century"; Our Elevator to Space


To begin...

Have you heard of a project called the “Space Elevator”? I hope so. If not, please look it up. If you’re aware of it, at all, in any capacity other than old Science Fiction, then it is a safe bet that my talented team at LiftPort was somewhere in the background. You see, we’ve been catalyzing and coordinating the commercial development of the Space Elevator for over nine years. I was personally involved with NASA’s 2001-2003 definitive research study. My company, LiftPort, grew out of the results of that study. Between 2003-2005 we researched Carbon NanoTubes (the strongest material in the world) – and we were not very good at it...
Space Elevator Rising Over the OceanSpace Elevator Rising Over the Ocean

However between 2004-2007 we got really good at building robots that climb into the sky. (More on that in a moment.) At our height we had about 60 university research partners, and somewhere between 800-1000 volunteers working on different aspects of the project. But then, in 2007, when the economy crashed, LiftPort got crushed. (Video at 3:15) We closed the company and our team went into hibernation. And now it is time to awaken!

This Kickstarter campaign marks the public return of LiftPort Group!
Where We’re Headed

Earth’s Space Elevator
- A Long Way Off

Ultimately where we are headed is – as my friend often repeats – “to get off this rock”. (3rd video, at 3:10) Ultimately, we are going to build an Elevator that climbs into the sky… an Elevator that takes humanity from “this rock”, en masse, to space! But that is a long way off. Perhaps 20-25 years. Before that happens there are some vital interim steps.

- Technology Derived From this Research

Everyone reading this message – using a computer over the Internet – in one way or another is a descendant of the Apollo era. We have all had our lives made better by the advanced technology that is created – all the time – as a by-product of going to space. At LiftPort, we hope to do the same thing; to make living on Earth better, by going to space. We call ourselves an “Idea Factory” because the breakthroughs that we need for our beloved Elevator will also have practical ‘down-to-Earth’ applications – just like Apollo did.

- LiftPort.com

Our (brand new) website has tons of resources for you to review: technical documents, images of our team building the future, and lots of other stuff. Whether you choose to support our campaign or not, we’d love to have your participation on the site: www.liftport.com. Or join as a member, and get involved in the conversation, add to the wiki or simply ask questions.

Lunar Space Elevator Infrastructure

Feasibility Study - This is Where We're Going

Before we can build Earth’s Elevator, we’ll need to build one on the Moon. It is significantly easier, and much much cheaper. Importantly - we can build it with current technology – in about eight years.

To meet our target date, we need to complete a 1-year Feasibility Study, beginning next year. That will cost $3M. I don’t expect to raise that through this Kickstarter campaign. But I’m throwing it out there so you know what’s ahead for this program. (But if you’re feeling generous – surprise me! All kidding aside, if you think the rewards we’ve got for Kickstarter are good, you should talk to us about the ‘rewards’ if you fund our Study!)

This Lunar Elevator is a new effort. It is part of LiftPort's revival program. This system can be built now, while Earth’s Elevator requires several more breakthroughs. We think we should focus on building this Lunar Space Elevator Infrastructure (LSEI or “Elsie”) as a prerequisite to the main goal.
Project Description

Tethered Towers

- How Relevant?

So if the Lunar Elevator is a precursor technology to Earth’s Elevator, then our proposed Kickstarter campaign of Tethered Towers is a precursor to the Lunar Elevator.

That’s where you come in!

- What we want to do is:

Build a robot that can climb 2 kilometers straight up.
Build a test platform of high-altitude balloons - tethered to the ground.
Our Robot (which you can NAME) will climb the test platform – and set a world record.
Let the world know that we didn’t quit, give up, or fail… we just had to ‘pause’ for a while.
Rebuild our connection with the global community of supporters.
Raise a little money to cover the cost of this specific experiment.