Beam me up! Crowdfunding a space elevator

The LiftPort group wants to raise $8,000 on Kickstarter to build a 1.2 mile tall elevator.  Call it a testing phase for a lofty goal: build an elevator that will take our technology – and possibly our people – to the moon.

At the time of writing, the project has almost doubled its $8,000 goal.  The campaign has benefitted from some recent press, but it is no surprise that a project of this magnitude is generating a lot of buzz.  Over 40 years after Apollo 11, space exploration remains a dream for many.

Elon Musk is perhaps the most high-profile space entrepreneur.  His SpaceX project has targeted putting humans into space for a decade, and has even secured hundreds of millions of dollars in NASA grants for collaborative space projects.

The LiftPort Group’s founder is Michael Laine, a scientist with a background in nanotechnology.  Carbon nanotubes could provide the technology necessary to build a chain long and strong enough to carry objects out of our atmosphere and onward to our Moon and beyond.

 

 

 

 

In an interview with Nanotech Now, Laine lists industries a space elevator could affect in order:

  • Communication Satellites
  • Solar Energy Satellites
  • Expanded Space Stations for
  • Communications
  • Repair facilities for sats
  • Pharmacuedicals and biosciences
  • Moon/Mars/Asteroid Exploratory Missions
  • Settlement Missions

What could it mean for humanity?  Laine had some thoughts on this as well:

“It means limitless, safe, simple, affordable access to space, with a predictable cargo schedule. It means the cargo can become an enormous increase in energy resources (huge solar energy satellites supplying clean – endlessly renewable – power back to earth); expanded, permanent settlements on the moon and mars and asteroids, and a stepping stone beyond, into the ‘wild black yonder.’ It means expanded communications to everyone on the planet – phone, video, internet, because of a greatly increased commsat infrastructure. It means bio-science advances that may allow us to live longer and in greater comfort in our old age, and better, higher purity medicines that we will use in our goal of a full and healthy life. So these advantages would go to the whole planet, really.”

Lofty goal.


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