Space Elevator development continues as the support community matures. ISEC.org is doing a great job in that. Carbon nanotubes are progressing slower than hoped for but power beaming has proven itself ready and able to power the space elevator when needed. In 2011 NASA dropped the Space Elevator Games. A balance could not be found between an exciting enough competition and a risk competitors (like us) would be willing to take. We successfully pushed the cutting edge out of our own reach.
2005: KC Space Pirates shake up the games as the dark horse competitor with the most powerful system the games had ever seen. We validated reflected sunshine for short range power beaming. $150,000- missed
2007: We came in Second and only missed the prize by 25 seconds. Wind, in a cascading failure, destroyed our climber keeping us from the prize. $500,000 - missed
2009: We again came in second. Tripped up by mysterious radio problems, compounded by constantly shifting safety requirements I failed to properly calibrate our system. $90,000 Consolation Prize out of a possible $2,000,000
Along the way we defeated teams with far more resources and experience while maintaining high standards of sportsmanship and professionalism. No team beat us in all three years. Each year we brought surprising innovation to the games. We enjoyed a fascination from the media for doing all of this without the trappings of big business or the large government supported programs and universities where this kind of research is typically done. Working mostly from my garage with the kind of feisty independence that classic pirates are known for. Just without the criminality that they are also known for. The NASA Centennial Chalanges Program was intended to reach non-traditional innovators and we answered the call loud and proud.
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