No Space Elevator News

The Times has an article about “boffins” (quality journalism, eh?) from the Japanese Space Elevator Association (Google’s English translation) wanting to build a space elevator (a very long and strong cable tethered to Earth and stretching into the sky that would make it easier and cheaper to get things into space).

No, that doesn’t seem very surprising, but I’m not sure what the actual “news” element of this is because, as The Space Elevator Blog says “the article mentioned no new breakthroughs in this effort.” The blog continues:

We’re all waiting for the breakthrough in carbon nanotubes and the accelerating pace of research into this field means, IMHO, that this is not far away at all; I think we will see “the breakthrough” before this decade is out. And, when that happens, the idea of a Space Elevator could move very quickly from an academic exercise to a new “space race”…

For those unable to attend the 1st Japan Space Elevator Conference in November, the 2nd International Space Elevator Workshop in Luxembourg might be closer to home.

The Spaceward Foundation also has a US$4 million competition which seems to be focused on (a) building devices that can climb a vertical tether (the cable) nov 7th and (b) creating the strongest possible tether. The competition is tentatively scheduled for 7th November.

The completists among you might also find interesting stuff on The Space Elevator Reference. (The Times article via io9’s equally news-free coverage.)

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