First climb was 4 minutes, 2 seconds - officially. Laser Motive qualified for the $900K prize. Live at http://ustre.am/4mZA
If neither the University of Saskatchewan or the Kansas City Space Pirates can beat that time over the next few days then Laser Motive will win the prize.
In 2009 there will be a winner of the laser beaming space elevator contest.
See the live updates for more runs tomorrow and Friday and to review todays competition
First up - Kansas City Space Pirates
Next up - Laser Motive
Last up - USST
Depending on the results of the first set of runs, then the order of second and subsequent runs will be set.
There should also be a Space Elevator Games Console with a message and video feed
9:09 PST: We should be seeing a battery powered climb by USST shortly now. Live at http://ustre.am/4mZA
9:15 PST: Helicopter spooling up. Live at http://ustre.am/4mZA
9:22 PST: Heli doing wind check Live at http://ustre.am/4mZA
9:28 PST: Hooking up climb cable Live at http://ustre.am/4mZA
9:30 PST: Heli now lifting cable - battery powered climb coming up Live at http://ustre.am/4mZA
9:35 PST: If you have any questions, please put them on this chat - Brian & I will try to answer them Live at http://ustre.am/4mZA
9:47 PST: We're hoping for the first competition run to start around 10:15 - pacific ime Live at http://ustre.am/4mZA
Finally getting ready - hope for our first competition climb in 10-15 minutes... Live at http://ustre.am/4mZA
heli re-fueled and spooling up Live at http://ustre.am/4mZA
heli up Live at http://ustre.am/4mZA
Climber now being pulled up to starting position Live at http://ustre.am/4mZA
Cleared to lase Live at http://ustre.am/4mZA
There is some issue - they're bringing the climber down to look at it. Live at http://ustre.am/4mZA
KC Space Pirates done for the day - no "in the money" climb for them today unfortunately. Live at http://ustre.am/4mZA
Breaking for lunch - LaserMotive first up this afternoon. Stay tuned! Live at http://ustre.am/4mZA
Looks like the action will resume about 2:00pm, Pacific time, perhaps a bit earlier. Live at http://ustre.am/4mZA
KC Space Pirates done for the day - they'll try again tomorrow. Live at http://ustre.am/4mZA
LaserMotive next up. They have their climber on the tether and the helicopter should be lifting shortly. Live at http://ustre.am/4mZA
LaserMotive Climber failed to move despite repeated attempts. Climber now being brought down. Live at http://ustre.am/4mZA
LaserMotive people now looking at cimber Live at http://ustre.am/4mZA
Nextbigfuture has been tracking the space elevator games and development work towards space elevators.
This years competition is to see if competitors can surpass about 5% of the power density capability needed for the climber component of a space elevator.
The power density of the climber is directly proportional to its speed (mgv/m), and so a 5 m/s speed in 1 g gravity corresponds to 50 Watt/kg, or about 5% of a real Space Elevator climber.
Alan Boyle has coverage of the space elevator beaming competition
all three of the teams entered in the competition - the Kansas City Space Pirates, LaserMotive and the University of Saskatchewan's USST team - were technically capable of taking the prize. But the challenge could be complicated by other factors, ranging from dealing with the wind to keeping the copter in a stable postion, to making sure the cable "racetrack" is easily navigable.
Shelef is hoping that at least one of the teams will end up with some money by the time all is said and done. In order for the full $2 million to remain in NASA's kitty, "all three teams would have to strike out," Shelef said.
Spaceward Foundation site