Fine Structure

First 1km Prize for Space Elevators

Three teams met at NASA Dryden in an attempt to be the first to zip their way up a 1km tether at one of two average speeds, 5m/s or 2m/s. The full $1.1 million prize has not yet been awarded but a smaller $900k prize was awarded yesterday to LaserMotive for their 4-minute climb to the top.

The first group to attempt, Kansas City Space Pirates, were met with some technical difficulties and never reached the top of the tether. The last group, from the University of Saskatchewan, has yet to make their attempt so the $1.1 million prize is still at stake!

If you're curious what these climbers look like, here's a good photo of a weigh-in for the LaserMotive climber. ]