SPACE ELEVATORS ARE COOL

Over at Slashdot, a fellow named Neil Halelamien writes "The European Space Agency has announced the 2005 Clarke-Bradbury International Science Fiction competition. For the competition, the ESA's Innovative Technologies from Science Fiction for Space Applications (ITSF) project is accepting short stories and artwork which incorporates or depicts a space elevator in some way. The competition is open to members of all nations, with a submission deadline of February 25, 2005.Space Elevators have been in the news recently, with The Space Review recently carrying an article summarizing the Third International Space Elevator Conference recently held in Washington, DC.Elevator.jpgSpace Elevators are really cool. The Wikipedia has a very simple explanation:

A space elevator would consist of a cable attached to the surface and reaching outwards into space [see right]. By positioning it so that its center of mass coincides with the altitude of geosynchronous orbit, either by extending the cable twice this altitude or attaching a counterweight, the elevator would stay in place. Once sent far enough, climbers would be accelerated further by the planet's rotation.
The Space Elevator weblog has pretty much everything else you ever wanted to know about space elevators.A working space elevator might reduce the cost of space launch to just a few dollars per pound, with obvious commercial and military applications. Several entrepeneurs are hoping to leverage government funding into sustainable businesses. HighLift Systems in Seattle has been pitching the idea to NASA, DARPA, the FAA, and the NRO. Another group, LiftPort Group in Bremerton, is working with the Air Force Academy.What's with all the companies in Washington State? Maybe its the Space Needle? Or the good weed.--Jeffrey Lewis
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