A coalition of leaders working on the concept of a space elevator has joined forces to form the International Space Elevator Consortium (ISEC). The new independent group is designed to promote standards and foster research relating to the construction of an Elevator to Space at the global level. Founding members of ISEC include the Spaceward Foundation, the Space Elevator Reference, the Space Elevator Blog, EuroSpaceward and the Japan Space Elevator Association. Heading the new organization is Ted Semon of the Space Elevator Blog, who will serve as president. Michael Laine, president of the space elevator company Liftport is excited about the consortium. “I think it’s a great thing,” he said. “This has been in the works for months, and the need to bring the different organizations under one roof has been long overdue. All five of the major organizations have been acting independently, which made sense in the beginning, but now we need coordination and cooperation.”
“The Space Elevator is a project whose time has come,” said Semon. “With the challenges facing today’s global economy, it is clear that new industries and new ideas are needed to help our planet in the 21st Century. The Space Elevator can be a key positive contributor, from providing inexpensive nanotechnology material science breakthroughs that will make your car stronger and lighter, to the creation of new industries that offer opportunities for investment and job creation. The International Space Elevator Consortium devoted to its development can make this happen.”
According to the Consortium, the goal of ISEC is to promote the development, construction and operation of the Space Elevator as a revolutionary and efficient way to space for all humanity. The group will accomplish this through these key areas:
• Development of a unified plan and roadmap for the Space Elevator and the coordinated assignment of specific research topics
• Funding of research on technologies relevant to the Space Elevator
• Development of the international legal framework necessary for the operation of the Space Elevator
• Global public outreach and central information exchange on Space Elevator activities
“In the past, some things fell through the cracks because no one knew what anyone else was working on,” said Laine. “Some needed tasks didn’t get done because everyone assumed that someone else was working on it. What we’re going to do with the consortium is refine the tasks, and have a better coordinated effort.”
Laine is very excited about upcoming projects for the consortium, to be announced in the next few weeks. “They’ve got some good things coming,” he said. ISEC will be unveiling additional plans and details, including a board of directors, technical journals, university and industry relationships, research opportunities and scholarships. Memberships will be available on the individual, corporate, academic and governmental levels.
The ISEC is headquartered in the Los Angeles area, a center of the aerospace industry. The consortium is a non-profit organization devoted to the research and construction of an elevator to space. See the ISEC website for more information.
Source: Business Wire, interview with Michael Laine