A very sad day

Well it looks like Liftport Group, the company dedicated to building a Space Elevator has succumbed to the difficulties of long term finance of a high risk venture. The CEO Michael Laine announced not so long ago that he was stepping down when they could find a suitable replacement but it does not seem to have kept the wolf from the door. This post by Brian Dunbar on the staff blog confirms it. It makes me sad because this project if of historic importance to humanity and yet it languishes in relative obscurity. I even volunteered for their Liftport Ambassador’s program & will be speaking to at least one conference on the subject (Conflux4) this year.

I would not be surprised to see some Liftporters get up again with a different vehicle but for now the main contender is Blackline Ascension who were started by Bradley Edwards (who did the NASA work & wrote the definitive book on the subject) and who were competing with Liftport to get the Space Elevator up first. The Elevator 2010 competition (run by Spaceward Foundation) will continue so the field is not exactly being left bare. I even read in KuiperCliff that Lockheed Martin has claimed a patent on Space Elevators though it is hard to see how anyone could miss the ‘prior art’ on that one!

One way or another I hope and believe that a Space Elevator will still be built in our lifetimes. It is just too important not to. So go Blackline! and anyone else who can make it happen!

Liftport lifter

So will we ever see it rise? My guess is yes but it is going to take a concerted effort by those who see the possibility, need, benefit etc. It may even take a public campaign & a movie by Al Gore before our governments see through the lens of voter opinion that humanity needs this.

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~ by clauswitz on April 17, 2007.

6 Responses to “A very sad day”

  1. This is sad news indeed, although Michael Laine is implying that all is not the end (as he seems to have a solution which he will blog about on Thursday).

    Anyways, good to see another space blog online! I think I’m going to add yours to my blog roll. 🙂

  2. Humanity needs something like this, whether it’s a space elevator or not. It certinly needs the research. I suspect mankind will be around for a long while yet, whether the elevator gets built or not.

    An interesting looking blog you got here. Just a friendly word of advice – it’s polite to link to fellow bloggers’ posts, rather than just mention them by name. We’re all link-whores, really 🙂

  3. […] 18th April: Brian Dunbar confirms that the game is up [via Future Spaces]. Anyone with $300k to spare? Contact […]

  4. Sincere apologies Kuipercliff (http://kuipercliff.wordpress.com/). I saw it myself & corrected it this morning. Thanks for the interest : )

    I agree with your sentiment about ‘something like this’. What we need is economical access to space because then we can access the minerals of the Asteroids, the energy of Helium3 and the manufacturing environments of the Moon and LEO. We can take some of our most polluting industries out of our delicate biosphere and clean up the worst of others. Does that fit with your list?

  5. we are NOT going out of business. it just got a whole lot tougher, but we will keep going… alan boyle at MSNBC is writing a full article on us, tomorrow. we will keep you posted. take care. mjl

  6. That is great news Michael & just what we were waiting to hear 🙂

    We all believe in the project and are cheering for Liftport and you!

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