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The American space agency is hosting a competition in which a number of entrepreneurs will be showcasing a variety of interesting creations

A National Aeronautics Space Administration competition will draw a number of international scientists to the New Mexico desert for them to unveil a number of different revolutionary projects. The overall goal of the NASA contest is to build some form of a space elevator that would hopefully one day replace expensive rocket missions. Even though the idea of a space elevator constructed out of a long enough cable to lift men and goods into orbit seems a bit outlandish, the entrepreneurs realistically believe it can be done.

University researchers, several corporations and scientists from several countries will test their devices to at the competition next month. Over $400,000 in cash prizes will be made available to the winners to the contests.

The LiftPort Group is one company that has openly stated its intentions of constructing a space elevator . LiftPort announced last month that it has completed a second round of testing on a prototype space elevator platform that stretches over a mile into the sky. The space elevator it hopes to construct would span over 100,000 kilometers. The company will be represented at the NASA challenge next month.

Even though a proper space base hasn't been constructed on Mars, some experts are hypothesizing about the ability of building a space elevator on the red planet. The 24 ½-hour days and proper atmosphere makes it an ideal location for a space elevator. Many scientists cited by the group agree that interested parties should first build some sort of elevator off Earth before even mentioning Mars.



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Eh...
By ascian5 on 9/4/2006 2:39:40 PM , Rating: -1
quote:
Most scientists agree that interested parties should first build some sort of elevator off Earth before even mentioning Mars.


MOST scientists? That doesn't give me a comfy feeling. I'm all about space exploration and advancement, but let's face it, what tangible discoveries do we have in the last couple decades? Pluto isn't a planet?! Wow! What an advancement for humankind. I'm really losing the fervor for the space program I used to have.




RE: Eh...
By Ringold on 9/4/2006 4:43:49 PM , Rating: 3
I guess you missed the whole thing with extreme physics, finally nailing down some rough properties of dark matter, scores of extrasolar planets, the existance of some systems whose configuration (with a large gas giant far enough away from the parent star) may allow for a habitable planet, understanding in finer detail the birth of the universe and many of its current properties, peering deep in to space almost to the point of the cosmic light horizon, etc, all of that.

But I guess knowing whats above our atmosphere isn't tangible? :P

I think little green men orbiting a star with ten or 15 solar masses would laugh at "intangible". Especially if it imploded close to our own and the gamma rays soaked us real nice. (Not that im sure theres a large one even close enough for that)


RE: Eh...
By bdunbar on 9/4/2006 11:57:22 PM , Rating: 2
The most scientists bit is misleading, perhaps. I'd love to know where they got that factoid from.

It's not about space exploration or science advancement, except as how cheap access to space will enable those activities (and of course wealth generation will allow more funds to be devoted to science).

It's all about enabling space commerce and generating wealth.


RE: Eh...
By lemonadesoda on 9/5/2006 3:37:10 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
and of course wealth generation will allow more funds to be devoted to science
INCORRECT! A political environment that directs greater taxation to science provides this environment.

Wealth generation allows the ruling government to tax more, or tax the same but with less complaint from the voting/taxed population.


RE: Eh...
By bdunbar on 9/5/2006 9:20:00 AM , Rating: 2
INCORRECT! A political environment that directs greater taxation to science provides this environment.

We're both right. I did ignore the political side - it was a quick reply not a dissertion.

* There has to be something there to tax - the greater wealth that society has the richer the tax base.

* The government is not the only entitiy that can do research. Example see Bell Labs. Not a perfect example as they were founded as a result of Bell's government mandated monopoly but there are other private industry labs.



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