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 Newsletter
April 2016
In This Issue
The President's Corner
Registration is NOW OPEN for the 2016 ISEC Space Elevator Conference
The Research Lab
EUSPEC - 2016
Call for Conference Papers
New ISEC Webmaster
New Editor-in-Chief for Via Ad Astra
Why Space Elevators?
Help Wanted
New Space Elevator Video
ISEC Affiliations
What is ISEC?
ISEC Corporate Sponsors
Visit ISEC on the Web
Follow ISEC!
Quick Links
Dear Friend,

Welcome to the April, 2016 edition of the ISEC Newsletter.

Registration is NOW OPEN for the 2016 ISEC Space Elevator Conference to be held at Seattle's Museum of Flight in August of this year.  More information about this must-attend event is shown elsewhere in this Newsletter.  There is now also a call for papers for this conference and details about this are, too, shown later on in this edition. Be there or be square!

In this issue, ISEC is very pleased to announce two new additions to its leadership team, a new webmaster and a new editor for Via Ad Astra - the space elevator magazine.

This issue also contains information about a space elevator competition that will be held in Germany later this year including details about you can join the competition if you would like to.

You will also find the latest installments of "The President's Corner" and "The Research Lab" as well as a link to a new space elevator video that has been created.

Finally, this newsletter contains the latest installment in the series "Why Space Elevators" and also a "Help Wanted" notice for a new Publicity Director for ISEC.

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

Innovation, Invention, and Creativity - All those talents necessary for our team developing the space elevator.  Not everyone needs these talents, but some among us must be creative and help us leap into the next century [oops can't say that as we are already there].  However, to make it to an operations date of approximately 2036, we need people who can help us leapfrog over hurdles.  I was just reading Cliff Ransom's article in Popular Science [May/June 2016 pg. 08]. He voted for Nikola Tesla as his favorite inventor.  His quote from Tesla was:

"The progressive development of man is vitally dependent on invention.  Its ultimate purpose is the complete mastery of mind over the material world."  [1919]

Mr. Ransom's article is entitled " History Favors the Bold."  I am sure I do not have to remind the members of ISEC that our future must depend upon those bold enough to step forward.  Not only the inventors, but those with vision about why we need the space elevator, those who understand the development process and can answer the question:  "How we can build the space elevator?"  Those bold enough to understand the financial flow of funding needed and those bold enough to commit time to volunteer for an idea ensure the progressive development of man.  We, ISEC volunteers, should revel in Mr. Tesla's quotation and grab Mr. Ransom's statement that:

"History Favors the Bold!" 

Keep Climbing my Friends --  Pete Swan
Registration is now open for the 2016 ISEC Space Elevator Conference!

ISEC is very pleased to announce that Registration for the 2016 ISEC Space Elevator Conference, once again to be held at Seattle, Washington's Museum of Flight is now open!

From the official announcement of the Conference:

"The International Space Elevator Consortium presents the 2016 Space Elevator Conference to be held August 19th through August 21st, 2016 at the Museum of Flight, Seattle, Washington with the Family Science Fest on Saturday, August 20th.
The theme of this year's conference is the "Apex Anchor, Geo Node, and Communication Architecture."  The three-day technical conference will engage an international audience of scientists, engineers, educators, managers, entrepreneurs, enthusiasts, and students in discussions of space elevator development including Technology, Business and Operations, Outreach, and Legal topics.  More details of this year's technical conference program will be posted on the conference website ( with registration opening March 2016.
The Family Science Fest portion of the conference will be held Saturday, August 20th. This event is in tandem with the technical conference and is included in the Museum of Flight admission price. The Family Science Fest includes a youth robotics competition, public Space Elevator 101 and 201 presentations, exhibits from universities, science organizations, and science clubs, and much more.  This is a great event for the whole family while you explore the Museum of Flight.
Many thanks to our annual "GEO" level sponsors, the Museum of Flight and Microsoft Corporation, for their ongoing support for this conference."

Early Bird rates are now in effect so now is a great time to Register - click here to be taken to the Conference Registration Page.

See you there!
The Research Lab

A new idea has recently emerged from ISEC's research team to use some earlier concepts in a different form.  Current materials are not strong enough to reach Earth from geosynchronous orbit, but they can reach down two-thirds of the way, leaving a gap of about 12,000 km. As materials get stronger, the tether will reach nearer to Earth, and the gap will become narrower. To close the gap from the Earth upwards, it is possible to use the methods of High Stage One - something that has already been described in published scientific papers - but arranged vertically rather than in a sloping arc.

From the Earth, the proposal is to project a continuous stream of fast projectiles upwards towards a high semi-circular structure called an ambit. The ambit uses permanent magnets to turn the projectiles around so that they go back down to Earth, which creates a strong upward force on the ambit. This force is enough to support the weight of the tether and payload below the ambit. In other words, the projectiles support the ambit and the ambit supports the tether. The permanent magnets use almost no energy; electromagnets are needed only for stabilization.
In the atmosphere, the projectiles travel inside evacuated tubes to minimize friction, but in space the tubes are not needed. It is possible to design for space debris, moving out of the way of large objects and coping with the impacts of smaller objects.

There will be more about this intriguing development at the Space Elevator Conference in Seattle on August 19-21.
EUSPEC - 2016

There WILL be a space elevator competition in Europe this year.  From their website:

The next European Space Elevator Challenge takes place from September 12th to 16th 2016 at Technische Universität München in Germany. This year, we are doubling the drive height to 100 m and there will be a new category for highschool teams and beginners.

You can find a summary of the rules at Requirements. The detailed rules and regulations handbook can be found at Downloads.

We are looking forward to many entrants! You can find the application form at Application.

For any questions, send us an email to

Their entry deadline date is April 30th, the date of this Newsletter.  If you are serious about competing or at least finding out more about the competition, email them ASAP.

Congratulations to the competition organizers and here's hoping for another successful event from them!

( Click on the event poster thumbnail to see a full-size version)
Call for Conference Papers !

The International Space Elevator Consortium (ISEC) invites you to join us in Seattle, Washington, USA and contribute to the latest research, knowledge, stimulating discussions, and exchange of ideas on space elevators at the 2016 Space Elevator Conference - August 19-21, 2016.  The theme of this year's conference is " Apex Anchor, Geo Node, and Communication Architecture."  

Carbon nanotube and strong materials research is also a very important topic that we continue to emphasize and we encourage participation by materials science researchers on this exciting subject.  Authors are invited to submit titles and abstracts of proposed papers for the conference before May 16, 2016.

Topics for papers should fall into these categories.
  • Space elevator Apex Anchor, Geo Node, or Communication Architecture
  • Carbon nanotube tensile strength research progress and other strong material research relating to space elevators
  • Science, engineering, and technology topics relating to space elevators
  • Operations, maintenance, ROI, and other business topics relating to space elevators
  • Space elevator impact on the future and public outreach to societal institutions; government, media, unions, the educational system, etc.
  • Treaties, laws, insurability, and other legal issues and topics relating to space elevators

Read all of the details, including how to submit an Abstract for a proposed paper / talk at the Conference in the official Call for Papers announcement

Mark Dodrill, New Webmaster for

ISEC, the International Space Elevator Consortium, is pleased to announce that Mark Dodrill has been named webmaster for the ISEC website.

Mr. Dodrill is an experienced software test engineer, having worked at several prominent Seattle area high-tech companies.  Previously, he was the President of a community pool board and is a member on the non-profit Pipe Organ Foundation.  He has participated in many International Space Elevator Conferences and has led the ISEC History committee.  His interviews in the Oral History project have provided insight into the people who have contributed towards the space elevator progress.

Mr. Dodrill is looking for volunteers for both ISEC's web enhancement team and the History Committee.  You may contact him through the website at
Peter Glaskowsky, New Editor in Chief of
Via Ad Astra

ISEC, the International Space Elevator Consortium, is pleased to announce that Peter N. Glaskowsky has been named Editor in Chief of the ISEC magazine Via Ad Astra.

Glaskowsky is an experienced editor and writer, having previously served as Editor in Chief of the computer-industry newsletter Microprocessor Report. He helped found, fund, and build the x86 CPU startup Montalvo Systems, worked as a senior architect at Intel and as a silicon strategist at Microsoft, has co-authored two books on space elevators, and holds 17 U.S. patents. Currently he is a member of the board of directors of Mill Computing, Inc. and consults on intellectual-property matters.

One of ISEC's newest publications, Via Ad Astra - the Space Elevator Magazine contains fiction, interviews, event summaries, and artwork as well as technical material about the space elevator. Via Ad Astra is intended for general audiences, but is sure to inform and entertain anyone who is interested in the idea of a space elevator.

Peter can be reached at
Help Wanted - Publicity Director

ISEC is looking for a new Publicity Director - are you interested?  Responsibilities for this position include:
  • Update web content at
  • Creation of the monthly ISEC Newsletter
  • Update of ISEC's Facebook Page, Twitter Feeds and Flickr and Vimeo accounts
  • Sending out Publicity Announcements as appropriate
  • Whatever else you can think of to get the word out!
  • Creation of a Publicity 'status report' to be presented to at the monthly Board of Directors meetings
This person will report to the President of ISEC and will be required to attend (via Conference call) the monthly ISEC Board meetings.

If you want to help in the effort to build a space elevator but may not have the 'technical chops' to contribute on the science or engineering side, this position could be perfect for you.  If you are interested, please contact
New Space Elevator Video

While ISEC was not involved in the creation of this video in any way, we would like to point out this new space elevator video as we believe it will be of interest to our readers.  It's part of the Kurzgesagt (In a nutshell) video series, describing some of the benefits of building a Space Elevator.

If the above video link does not work, you can access it on YouTube here.
ISEC Affiliations

The National Space Society (NSS) is an independent, educational, grassroots, non-profit organization dedicated to the creation of a spacefaring civilization.  Founded as the National Space Institute (1974) and L5 Society (1975), which merged to form NSS in 1987 (see merger proclamation), NSS is widely acknowledged as the preeminent citizen's voice on space.  NSS has over 50 chapters in the United States and around the world.  The society also publishes Ad Astra magazine, an award-winning periodical chronicling the most important developments in space.
  • NSS Vision: "People living and working in thriving communities beyond the Earth, and the use of the vast resources of space for the dramatic betterment of humanity."
  • NSS Mission: "to promote social, economic, technological, and political change in order to expand civilization beyond Earth, to settle space and to use the resulting resources to build a hopeful and prosperous future for humanity."
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 and for 2016, the ISEC Theme is Design Considerations for a GEO Node, Apex Anchor and Communications Architecture.

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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