Speaker Michael J. Laine
Affiliation LiftPort Group – The Space Elevator Companies
Host Stewart Tansley
Date recorded 4 June 2004
The Space Elevator, long considered a favorite topic in science fiction, has recently emerged as a mainstream concept for the development of commercial access to space. What was once thought ‘impossible’ is now being reconsidered - due to several ongoing research areas, including super-strong Material Sciences (Carbon NanoTube Composites) and advances in Robotic, Radar, Laser, PhotoVoltaic and Computing Technologies.
The talk will touch briefly on the history of the 100 year old concept, give an overview of recent developments – separating Fact from Science Fiction, describe possible construction scenarios (including potential problems and solutions). Highlights of the technical breakthroughs will be covered, as well as planned uses of the completed system and ongoing commercialization efforts. There will be an emphasis on (current) robotic systems, our thought processes, designs, setbacks and opportunities and a description of our high altitude balloon launch tests planned within the next few weeks. A Q&A session will follow the talk.
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