LaserMotive Space Elevator

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A challenge from NASA met head on

NASA offered a yearly challenge of climbing a cable into space, and the challenge became progressively harder each year.  The challenge was held to gather ideas for how to conceptually build a space elevator, and it was met head on by LaserMotive with our very own Jeff Alexander as one of the chief engineers.

Engineering a Way to Win

The team built a Space Elevator with 5-kilowatt side power beams and mirrors measuring 4 feet diagonally.  Per NASA’s press release, LaserMotive won $900,000 from NASA’s Centennial Challenges program for meeting the Level 1 standard of having their laser-powered robot climb a 900-meter-long cable suspended from a hovering helicopter in less than 7.5 minutes. The team accomplished that goal four times in the first two days of competition, the quickest being in 3 minutes and 48 seconds.

Results

900
Thousand Dollars

Prize Money to LaserMotive Team

1
First Place

2009 NASA Space Elevator Games

1
World Record

Unmanned aero-vehicle flight sustained.

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