Space Elevators Come Down To Earth

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The Wirefly X Prize Cup (or Space Elevator Games as it is more popularly known) descended into chaos last weekend according to New Scientist and Space Elevator Blog. While waiting for the carbon nanotube based tethers that may someday enable this technology, there has been planty of fun and games using other materials.

Three out of four teams competing to build a stronger lighter tether than NASA were disqualified on the basis of not being able to create a 2 metre long loop for testing (one team failed by half a millimetre!).

Perhaps the oddest aspect was that the organisers did not know how long the ribbon the robotic climbers had to ascend was, and were therefore unable to judge whether one of the teams had met the requirement to ascend at 1 m/s or not.

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