If you're having trouble viewing this email, you may see it online

Welcome to the August 2019 Edition of the ISEC Newsletter


In This Issue:




Why participate on the Space Elevator Team?


“... mind-blowing breakthroughs don’t just happen. They take teams of bright and dedicated people chipping away at the problem day and night. They take a huge amount of motivation, toil, and at least a few failures. To solve our biggest problems, we need people to undertake big tasks.”

Berman, Alison. "The Motivating Power of a Massive Transformative Purpose." Singularity Hub, Nov 8, 2016, https://singularityhub.com/2016/11/08/the-motivating-power-of-a-massive-transformative-purpose/


The answer to why we participate in the quest for space elevators is that we want to contribute to something big that will have an impact on the future and move humanity on a positive vector with hope. Each of us knows that when the space elevator is operational, movement off-planet robustly proceeds. Six operational space elevators, by 2040, will enable anyone's payload to reach GEO and beyond because of their strengths: inexpensively, daily, routinely, with no shake/rattle/roll, environmentally friendly liftoffs, and with expectations of train-like business schedules. Interplanetary mission support will be a mainline mission along with enabling GEO satellite delivery - fix - refuel - movement activities. The achievement of impossible missions (77 days to Mars from Apex Anchor) and delivery of massive arrays of space based solar power satellites, will be routine. These promises are why we are excited about the newly recognized availability of a tether material. Meanwhile, we need to ensure that the “homework” is accomplished enabling us to step out towards production. ISEC's increasing body of knowledge is because we have people who care and believe they are participating within a Massive Transformative Purpose.

Well done Space Elevator team!



Dear Fellow Space Elevator Enthusiasts,


The 2019 Space Elevator Convention may be over, but the work is still going on. The theme of this year’s conference was “ISEC Outreach and Early Experimentation.” We had three workshops where we broke down into table groups and shared ideas on Outreach, Interplanetary Mission Support, and The Greening of the Earth via Space Elevators. In this issue, we will be emphasizing Outreach: how to reach investors; how to grow our organization; and how to educate the public. We have already increased our outreach through our Twitter feed (Thanks, Peter Robinson!) and are now considering other avenues. We wanted to know the answers to many “why” questions, like “Why Space Elevators?” as many of us have all been asked that question in so many different ways. We wanted to know what motivated our attendees, so we published a survey to them asking, “Why did you attend the ISEC conference” and “What does it mean to you to work on the Space Elevator.” We will be publishing some of these answers in this and in newsletters to come. We will start with our President, Pete Swan, answering the question, “Why participate on the Space Elevator team?” Read below for his statement.

Also, our Chief Architect, Michael Fitzgerald, has submitted his Architectural Note #26, entitled, “Road Signs in Outer Space.” He references roadside Burma-Shave jingles. I must say, I was at a loss as to what he was referring to, so I had to do some research. For those of you who don’t remember the Burma-Shave signs at the side of the road on Route 66 between 1927 and 1963, here are some results from my research:

A Wikipedia article that has a paragraph about the Roadside signs and lists examples: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burma-Shave. Be sure to scroll down to the stories of their promotional messages. One promised a trip to Mars!

Here is a link to a video from 1945 of someone recording as they drive by the signs: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8qaJpxkamsE. In case the signs fly by too quickly to read, the first series says, “’Twould be | More fun | To go by air | If we could put | These signs up there | Burma-Shave.”

You can look up the rest on this site that has every jingle recorded. Click on the year and then click on the first sign of each jingle: http://burma-shave.org/

Write to us and tell us your answers to our questions—Why support Space Elevators? Why do you subscribe to this newsletter? What would the Space Elevator mean to you?

Thank you for your support!

Sandee Schaeffer

Newsletter Editor



President's Corner

by Pete Swan

Successful Conference

This year's conference is now on the website with the presentations. We had a very good series of talks and even better mini-workshops. The interchange across the room was exciting and the content quite impressive. In addition, there was a lot of discussion surrounding the arena of social media and marketing. Several people commented that we had tremendous "content" on our website originating from our associated activities (papers/study reports/talks/etc.) but lacked the ability to ensure the information flowed. There will be a few initiatives in the near future to address this shortfall.

However, this year's conference resulted in a few significant realizations that could be followed-up. Each of these tended to center around a slogan or two that we should leverage in our correspondence:


  • "Space Elevators give me hope for the future" - this statement was expressed by a few attendees as one of their reasons for being at the conference.
  • "The tether material is here" - this statement reflects the optimism on the rapid development of single crystal graphene from the half meter by tenth meter single molecule that has tremendous strength and can be grown in increasing lengths.
  • "The space elevator is closer than you think" - this statement reflects the exhaustive ISEC work showing that the space elevator technologies are past the preliminary technology readiness assessment stage (except for the material, and that is close) and should be entering engineering testing soon.
  • "The space elevator will make the Earth Greener" - as participants of the conference brainstormed during this mini-workshop, ideas surfaced rapidly. Some ideas include: 1) the ability to have robust space based solar power satellites delivered to GEO economically - thus eliminating coal power plants, 2) reduce impact to environment from rocket launches, 3) enable off-planet movement without expensive rockets, 4) enables continuous mission support to interplanetary flights without rocket launches, and 5) stores carbon in the long ribbons of tether material.
  • "Space elevators enable 77-day transits to Mars with daily liftoffs." - The ability to release payloads at the Apex Anchor with 7.76 km/sec of velocity enables rapid flights to Mars and beyond without rocket launches. During the 365-day launch windows (no restrictions on when to leave Earth), the path to Mars varies and the transit times differ ranging from 76 days to well over 300 when going the long route. This capability will enable robust mission support infrastructure in a timely manner.

Keep Climbing my Friends,





After our table talk “The Greening of the Earth via Space Elevators,” we concluded that:


The Space Elevator is Environmentally Responsible





Architecture Note #26

Road Signs in Outer Space


You are not likely to see road signs in Outer Space …

They just aren’t there

Nor are roadside Burma Shave jingles, like …


“Every day |We do | Our part | To make your face | A work of art | Burma-Shave”


Personal Prolog

This is an Architecture Note. It is the opinion of the Chief Architect. It represents an effort to document ongoing science and engineering discussions. It is one of many to be published over time. Most importantly, it is a sincere effort to be the diary, or the chronicle, of the multitude of our technical considerations as we progress; along the pathway developing the Space Elevator.

Michael A. Fitzgerald

You probably haven’t noticed, there are no Road Signs in Outer Space

I am a great fan of detective movies, especially the old ones in which the PI rescues the damsel in distress. You know: Humphrey Bogart as Philip Marlowe looking for Lauren Bacall, who has been captured by the bad guys. Marlowe discovers that the bad guys have Ms. Bacall in their hideout 10 miles east of Realito. Where the hell is Realito?? No problem! Philip Marlowe drives around until he finds a road sign that shows that Realito is straight ahead. Tension mounts as Marlowe changes direction to head east! Hideout located! Damsel is rescued. Bad guys are shot. Hollywood legends resume their love affair. All because of that road sign.

That storyline was written by the great Raymond Chandler in 1939 and made into a movie in 1946. Transplant that story into space in the 21st century … and all would be lost. Imagine some intergalactic bad guys in a hideout 10 parsecs from the planet REALITO! Where do we go? … There are no road signs! How do we know when we will intersect the orbit plane of the planet REALITO and then execute a plane change? All that free ΔV provided at the departure from the APEX Anchor will go to waste; and the damsel will never be rescued.


Do not worry. We have a team working on it.


Research at Arizona State University sponsored by Associate Professor Matthew Peet and supported by our Dr. Pete Swan, substantiated the conclusion that mission support from the Galactic Harbour is an enabling factor in humanity’s expansion off planet. That terrific team at Arizona State University did a fantastic job creating the bus schedules that Pete Swan and I were hoping for; but their work has just begun. Remember, everything out there is moving! REALITO ain’t where it was just a few months before. It has moved; as have we! Space Elevators allow mission support growth to accelerate with three major improvements:

  • Inexpensive and routine massive movements of mission support equipment from the Apex
  • Available, daily launch windows to Mars
  • Reduced travel times – as short as 77 days to Mars

The ASU team will assemble the information needed and portray the navigation as smoothly as Google Maps got me to San Jose (See Architecture Note #23). I expect that, under the ASU leadership, a new interplanetary navigation paradigm will be published well before the Space Elevator begins development and operational testing. Use of that paradigm’s algorithms will be easy on our handheld computers in the year 2030. In fact, I figure that the computer user can determine when the “stuff” should depart the Apex to arrive at the destination in time. Interplanetary “in-time” logistic support. It should be so; must be so.


Road Signs or not, the Space Elevator Transportation System changes everything!

I know it was a little silly to bring up Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, road signs, and Burma Shave; but I did so only to point out the dramatic difference the Space Elevator Transportation System will make on intergalactic travel. Unabashedly and proudly, the Space Elevator changes everything about travel within our solar system. Travelers and supplies should not have to wait 26 months for the proper alignment of orbit planes to get to Mars. Departures can be every day! The duration of travel will be much less than the 8 months long trip we have heard about since whenever.

Our vision is simple --> Free, Fast and Daily Delivery! No waiting! Package up your stuff, send it up the Elevator, and depart according to the Swan / ASU bus schedule. Could it be any easier?

In Closing

I am truly proud to be part of this revolution. I am trying hard to get it started!!



Michael A. Fitzgerald
Senior Exec VP and Co-Founder
Galactic Harbour Associates, Inc
Space Elevator Transportation & Enterprise Systems


Here is that "Bus Schedule" Fitzer referred to:


A Note from the Conference Chair

The 2019 ISEC Space Elevator conference was held last month August 16th through the 18th at the Museum of Flight in Seattle, Washington, USA. This was our 8th year hosting the conference at this site. We had a great series of productive workshops on ISEC outreach, interplanetary Mission Support, and the environmental benefits of Earth space elevators. Michael Fitzgerald presented the keynote presentation on the Space Elevator Pathway to Technology Maturity … and Beyond, From Fountains to Tech Ready showing how close the space elevator is to becoming a reality. The weekend as full of other wonderful talks on graphene, carbon nanotubes, climber design considerations, multi-stage elevators, summary reports from this year’s ISEC interns, and more. Presentations and papers from the 2019 conference will be available at https://isec.org/conference-proceedings-2/. Many thanks to the Museum of Flight and Galactic Harbour Associates for their support and sponsorship and to all who attended and presented at this year’s conference. We hope you can all join us at the next conference (visit https://isec.org/sec/ for details as they become available in the coming months).

2019 Space Elevator Attendees

David Horn

Conference Chair


Conference Paper - ISEC 2019

"Apex Anchor Fast Transit to Mars" – Dr. Pete Swan

A summary:

With NASA's newest move to put boots on the Moon by 2024, space elevators must be tossed into the discussions about off-planet movement. Daily, routine, inexpensive, massive movement of payloads towards the Moon and Mars is a strength of the Apex Anchor -- especially with, high velocity and daily launch windows. The question then becomes, when looking at it from a space elevator perspective, "Can we do daily launches with a variety of flight times and distances to Mars?" With all the extra velocity, trips are shorter, and missions can use multiple orbits. How do we leverage 77-day transit times to Mars? Go to https://isec.org/conference-proceedings-2/, (coming soon) to find the paper.

[Editor’s Note: This paper was published in its entirety in the August edition of this newsletter.]





Upcoming Space Elevator Related Events


2019 International Astronautical Congress

Walter E. Washington Convention Center

Washington D. C., USA
21-25 October, 2019


The international space elevator community, lead by ISEC, have continued their push to (since IAF 2004) have a space elevator technical session as the location changed around the world. This year's activity is Tuesday afternoon with 17 papers covering all aspects of space elevators. The technical program will be available soon on their website, https://www.iac2019.org/, or email me at info@isec.org and I will ship the layout to you. The ISEC friends' papers are (there are several other authors, mostly familiar to ISEC):


  • Technical Maturity and Development Readiness of the Galactic Harbour - Michael Fitzgerald
  • Interplanetary Mission Support from Galactic Harbour Apex Anchor - Peter Swan
  • Optimization of Low Fuel and Time-Critical Interplanetary Transfers using Space Elevator Apex Anchor Release: Mars, Jupiter and Saturn - James Torla
  • Space Elevator Cable’s Oscillation Caused in Space Thermal Environment - Yoji Ishikawa
  • Progress Report on the Multi-stage Space Elevator - John Knapman
  • Experimental Study on Climber Mechanism Applying Cross Roller System for Small Manned Space Elevator - Fumihiro Inoue
  • Space Elevator Dynamic Response to Payload Release - Stephen Cohen
  • Boost-Tethers in the Mars-and-Moons System - Martin Lades
  • KEYNOTE: The ASU Interplanetary Initiative: Advancing Society Through Exploration - Linda Elkins-Tanton

In addition, there will be energy around the presentation of the International Academy of Astronautics Study Report entitled "Road to the Space Elevator Era." This book will be distributed and "presented" to the space community at the IAC-2019. The four-year effort included many authors who are ISEC members.



If you would like to follow us on Twitter, use this link! Please like us on Facebook and watch more videos on our YouTube channel. And please visit the Space Elevator home page for all things regarding ISEC for the latest information.



Copyright International Space Elevator Consortium 2017

600 W Santa Ana Blvd Ste 114A, PMB 409, Santa Ana, CA 92701


This email was sent to: <>. To ensure that you continue receiving our emails, please add our email to your address book or safe list. To unsubscribe from future mailings please click here.

To unsubscribe from future mailings please click here.