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.
Prize Money to LaserMotive Team
2009 NASA Space Elevator Games
Unmanned aero-vehicle flight sustained.