The official newsletter of the International Space Elevator Consortium (ISEC)


Our mission statement:

"...ISEC promotes the development, construction and operation of a space elevator as a revolutionary and efficient way to space for all humanity..."

ISEC e-Newsletter
December 2015
In This Issue
The President's Corner
Via Ad Astra - the Space Elevator Magazine
The Research Lab
Sky Line
The Historical Files
Why Space Elevators?
ISEC Affiliations
What is ISEC?
ISEC Corporate Sponsors
Visit ISEC on the Web
Follow ISEC!
Quick Links
Dear Friend,

Welcome to the December, 2015 edition of the ISEC eNewsletter.

This month's President's Corner talks about why our President is so 'pumped' about space elevators, why you should be too and what you can do to help further this effort.

ISEC is also very pleased to announce the inaugural issue of Via Ad Astra (Road to the Stars), the Space Elevator magazine - a new publication which should appeal to anyone who is interested in science and new ideas.

This issue also contains information about "Sky Line", a new space elevator movie recently released as part of the DOCNYC (Documentary New York City) film festival.

Finally, this month's "Research Files" column discusses space debris and the space elevator (always a favorite topic of nay-sayers) and this month's "Historical Files" column discusses the IAC (International Astronautical Conference) and the prominent role that space elevators have played in it.

If you want to help us make a space elevator happen, JOIN ISEC and get involved!  A space elevator would truly revolutionize life on earth and open up the solar system and beyond to all of us.

And please don't forget to LIKE US on Facebook, FOLLOW US on Twitter and enjoy the photos and videos that we've posted on Flickr and YouTube - all under our Social Identity of ISECdotORG.

Thank you! 

The President's Corner

Recently, I have been thinking about why I am so "pumped" about Space Elevators?  Is it because I have been dabbling in it since 1981?  Is it because I am a space geek obsessed with the need for inexpensive access to space?  Or is it because I want to make a difference?  It is probably about all three of those needs.  So, I thought I would share my thinking after being stimulated by an email from Dr. Diamandis.  His thesis is that " Significance is the feeling that your life [and your work] has had a meaningful and lasting impact."  The beautiful thing about being involved with space elevators is that when it is developed into a transportation infrastructure, each of us can stand up and say we contributed.  If you do nothing more that read about it, you will then discuss it with others.  If you participate in a conference you have stimulated thoughts and pushed research forward.  If you are involved in one of the projects [year long study, research, history, etc.] you have significantly pushed space elevators forward.  Each of us wants to contribute to make the world better, and this is a visible method to help move us along that path.  Once you have picked an area to contribute your energy; e.g. anything space elevators, then you can answer the question of "have I contributed towards making the world better?"  YES.  "Ultimately, it's about creating a life worth living - what wakes you up in the morning and gets you excited."  Dr. Diamandis recommends two steps that are in line with the efforts of the ISEC:
  • Deep Research - Read as much as you can about space elevators; reach out and talk to the experts; and, search for the reasons why the idea will not work and then develop compelling ideas to make them achievable.
  • Taking Action: Impacting the World - Create a company to solve the issue; invest in entrepreneurs; create incentive prizes; find others and join them; become a platform for the idea; and, leverage other people's money for your solutions.
Peter Diamandis's 29th law is a little extreme, but points out the significance of committing ones life towards a purpose:  " Find something you would die for, and live for it."  While we at the ISEC believe the space elevator will make the world a better place for all, we are certainly willing to " live for it." Contribute your efforts towards this valuable project; and, indeed, at the end of your life you will be able to say you made a difference.  

Note:  Leveraged email [quotations from Peter Diamandis' email "Significance Over Success"
4 Oct 2015]

Keep Climbing my Friends --  Pete Swan
Via Ad Astra, the Space Elevator Magazine

ISEC is very proud to announce the publication of Volume 1 / Number 1 of Via Ad Astra - The Road to the Stars.  Via Ad Astra joins CLIMB, the Space Elevator Journal, and the yearly ISEC Reports, as part of ISEC's ongoing efforts to increase the quantity and quality of space elevator-related literature available today.

The best way to describe Via Ad Astra is to quote the Foreword from the Magazine, penned by ISEC's President, Dr. Peter Swan:

Welcome to another step towards space elevators.  ISEC has expanded its reach with a new publication titled Via Ad Astra - "Road to the Stars."  This new publication will help us record the history and progress of the space elevator and present projects and processes as we go forward to the stars.  Our technical journal, CLIMB, has concentrated on peer-reviewed papers but has also included other interesting and worthy articles about the Space Elevator.  These types of articles were included in CLIMB because there was no other publishing venue for them.  Via Ad Astra represents that new publishing venue as ISEC believes we need a format that showcases these articles, shows our progress and presents our approach toward the future.  The name was chosen to reflect our mission:  to provide the Road to the Stars.  This new venture will help ISEC fulfill its vision:

A world with inexpensive, safe, routine, and efficient access to space for the benefit of all mankind.

In this issue, you will find a varied and informative set of articles:
  • An interview with Yuri Artsutanov, the 'father' of the modern-day concept of the space elevator.
  • A review of the Space Elevator Games, the highly successful collaboration between NASA and The Spaceward Foundation.
  • Several technical articles about specific aspects and requirements of a space elevator.
  • A brief review of the ISEC Study Reports, reports created by ISEC each year targeting a specific area of research necessary to build a space elevator.
And much, much more!

Via Ad Astra will be the publication for our members and supporters around the world, and each of you is invited to contribute to future issues.  We hope you enjoy the articles!

Via Ad Astra is now available from the ISEC store in both print and electronic versions.

(Click on the picture thumbnail to see a full-size picture of the Front cover)

(You can see a preview of the magazine by clicking here)
The Research Lab

Outline studies have already been made of some of the hazards that the space-elevator tether will have to face, particularly due to space debris, meteors, small particles and radiation. A mission is planned by the Japanese Space Agency JAXA to place a tether of reasonable length into orbit to study these effects. The target launch date is 2017.  The results can be compared to other tether flights, over the last forty years [several in the tens of kilometers].

We also need more study of the hazards that the space elevator may cause, so that we can assess whether we need to plan mitigating action or modify the designs. One big issue is that of severance. What happens if something goes badly wrong and the tether breaks, either accidentally or due to hostile action? We need to ensure that the broken tether will not cause damage on Earth, and we need to assess the risk to other spacecraft in various scenarios, depending on the altitude at which the severance takes place. Action at the geosynchronous station would also be needed to ensure its continuing stability, and it may be necessary to release part or all of the apex anchor. Much of this work can be done by simulation.
Sky Line

Sky Line, a new movie about Space Elevators has been released!  This Kickstarter funded project is a movie about:

In 1979, Arthur C. Clarke wrote a novel about an elevator to space. This is the story of the people who intend to build it.

The world premiere of this movie was held November 15th and November 18th in New York city as part of the 2015 DOCNYC event.

This is the first space elevator-related Kickstarter project which has born fruit and it is 74 minutes of documentary fun and information.

You can stream this movie for free by clicking on this link.  You can also purchase the movie if you want your own personal copy.
The Historical Files

The International Astronautical Congress (IAC) has been organized annually in different parts of the world since 1950 under the auspices of the International Astronautical Federation, together with the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) and the International Institute of Space Law (IISL). Starting with the 55th IAC Congress held in Vancouver, Canada in 2004, there have been sessions on the space elevator every year since, organized by Dr Pete Swan and Dr David Raitt and later Skip Penny, under the auspices of the IAA.The idea of organizing them was to bring the concept of the space elevator to a much wider worldwide audience than was possible with the Annual Space Elevator Conferences which were held only in the United States. Each of the IAC sessions was regularly attended by some 50-60 people and the papers and presentations have given a good overview of the way that current thinking on the design, technology and deployment, particularly of the tether has progressed over the years. Interestingly, few papers were presented on the materials aspects - the carbon nanotubes; and eventually the discussion of climbers dropped out of the research effort - probably because there was nothing new to add and the design was essentially fixed.

After the IAC in Vancouver in 2005, the venue for these space elevator sessions switched to Fukuoka, Japan in 2005; Valencia, Spain in 2006; Hyderabad, India in 2007; Glasgow, Scotland in 2008; Daejeon, South Korea in 2009; Prague, Czech Republic in 2010; Cape Town, South Africa in 2011; Naples, Italy fin 2012; Beijing, China in 2013; Toronto, Canada in 2014; and Jerusalem, Israel in 2015. The change in venues around the world has meant that the concept of the space elevator was brought to a very wide audience comprising local scientists and engineers as well as the regular devotees.
ISEC Affiliations

National Space Society Update - " The annual International Space Development Conference (ISDC) is the keynote event of the National Space Society (NSS), bringing together leading managers, engineers, scientists, educators, and business people from civilian, military, commercial, entrepreneurial, and grassroots advocacy space sectors. ISDC has been held in various locations throughout North America since 1982, featuring renowned speakers such as Buzz Aldrin, Eric Anderson, Charles Bolden, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Peter Diamandis, Lori Garver, Richard Garriott, Bill Nye, Elon Musk, Seth Shostak, Simon 'Pete' Worden, and many others. ISDC also features plenary talks, keynote speakers, multi-disciplinary tracks, exhibit hall, design contests, book signing, and more.
What is ISEC?

The International Space Elevator Consortium (ISEC) is the result of a coming-together of many leading figures and organizations who have worked long and hard over many years to promote the concept of a Space Elevator.  With organizational members in the United States, Europe and Japan and individual members from around the world, ISEC's goal is nothing less than to get a Space Elevator built.

Our Mission Statement says it all:

"ISEC promotes the development, construction and operation of a space elevator as a revolutionary and efficient way to space for all humanity"

Each year we adopt a theme which we use to focus our activities for that year.  For 2009-2010, our theme was Space Debris Mitigation - Space Elevator Survivability.  For 2010-2011 our theme was Research and thought targeted towards the goal of a 30 MYuri tether.  For 2011-2012, our theme was Operating and Maintaining a Space Elevator.  For 2012-2013, our theme was Tether Climbers and for 2013-2014, our theme is Architecture & Roadmaps. For 2014-2015, ISEC has two themes; The Marine Node and a Materials Review.

If you agree that building a Space Elevator should be a priority for all of us and you want to help make this happen, please Join Us!  Benefits include eNewsletters (such as this one), the ISEC Journal CLIMB and other items listed on our Join page.

Come and join us and help make the future happen!

The International Space Elevator Consortium (ISEC) is a registered 501c3 charitable organization
(EIN 80-0302896)

Thank you, Corporate Sponsors !

The lifeblood of any organization such as ours is the support we receive from our members - and we thank them all.  We especially want to thank our Corporate Sponsors who have contributed funds and resources to ISEC at a higher level.

Visit ISEC on the Web
Visit our website at  There you can join and learn more about what is happening in the Space Elevator community and what is being done to advance the concept of a Space Elevator.  Please consider joining ISEC - we foster research and sponsor Space Elevator-related causes, but to do so takes money.  Your contributions are crucial to our success.  Thank you!

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