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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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RE: Other things first
By bdunbar on 9/5/2006 12:12:38 AM , Rating: 2
Edwards from Carbon Designs guess-timates 10 bilion. We're more conservative and have some (we think) better data and say 20 billion.

And so? BP put in a new deep ocean oil right in 2005. It cost $10 billion. It's not cheap but it's money that private companies toss around all the time.

Also note that NASA is nowhow noway saying they are going to build one. Liftport (bias warning I work there) says we can after we study the thing for a few more years but we don't want the government to do it - we can (with some luck) get the job done using private capital.

So - no 'think of the children' moral quandry involved.

But wait - there is. Any means that reduces the transaction cost of transport _always_ generates wealth. If we're wealthy we can _buy_ those kids welfare and food. Conversly if we simply take our excess captial and buy food we'll be (relativly speaking) poor as dirt and can't afford frippery like welfare.

Rich and able to afford social toys like welfare and food stamps or poor dumb peasants scrabbling in the fields and everyone dying at 40?


RE: Other things first
By Ringold on 9/5/2006 7:22:58 PM , Rating: 2
Wow, you guys arent looking for one red government cent? Doing it privately?

To a red-blooded capitalist, LiftPort just became beautiful. Thats a great idea, 'cause NASA would do nothing but slow you people down, create cost overruns, and you guys would end up with another International Boondoggle, er, Space Station.


RE: Other things first
By bdunbar on 9/8/2006 8:32:12 AM , Rating: 2
Wow, you guys arent looking for one red government cent? Doing it privately?

No. Yes.

It can't be done without the government's help. We've already had extensive dealings with the FAA and we'll have more with other agencies in the future.

Too, if Uncle Sam is willing to pay some of the costs of development then we'd be foolish not to accept their help. The first customer is likely to be the government for that matter. They send up a lot of satellites and the cost savings should be enormous.

And this is okay. It's the job of the state to prime the pump for projects like this; always has been.

But yes, the goal is for Liftport to remain a private company and to build and operate a space elevator system.


"Well, we didn't have anyone in line that got shot waiting for our system." -- Nintendo of America Vice President Perrin Kaplan

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