Welcome to the May 2018 Edition of the ISEC Newsletter


Dear Fellow Space Elevator enthusiast,

In this edition, Fitz's Architecture Note is about how we need to begin an outreach program to show others how Space Elevators fit into the future, Dr. Swan introduces us to another intern from last year's program and reminds us of the impending deadline for this year's program, and we have two new fiction books published about Space Elevators! One is a compendium of different short stories and the other is a full-on murder mystery in space!

Thank you for reading and lending your support in the development of Space Elevators!

As always, you will find notices of several open volunteer positions (a great way to help this project, even if you’re not a scientist or engineer) and a reminder that all ISEC reports, Yearly Reports, CLIMB Journals and the Via Ad Astra Magazine, are now available FOR FREE in electronic (pdf) format at ISEC.org. There is plenty of work to be done!

If you want to help us make a space elevator happen, JOIN ISEC and get involved! A space elevator would truly revolutionize life on earth and open up the solar system and beyond to all of us.

Please don’t forget to LIKE US on Facebook, FOLLOW US on Twitter, and enjoy the photos and videos that we’ve posted on Flickr and YouTube – all under our Social Identity of ISECdotORG.

Thank you,

Mark Dodrill

ISEC Webmaster

Architecture Note #18

The OUTREACH Program --More than a helping hand

by Michael A. Fitzgerald

Personal Prolog

This is an Architecture Note.  It is the opinion of ISEC’s Chief Architect.  It represents an effort to document ISEC’s ongoing science and engineering discussions, and 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.

ISEC must begin broad OUTREACH programs … but first we need to do some homework


It was probably Dad’s fault … but I remember all of us piling into the car and heading out to the movies a few miles away …  and the expected show wasn’t playing anymore.  My Dad accepted the guilt and paid off with banana splits at our favorite ice cream parlor.  It was probably more fun; the seven of us being quiet in the movie was not really the ways things would have worked out.  Dad always turned those incidents into teaching moments.  “It didn’t turn out so bad…but I should have checked the schedule before leaving the house “.

ISEC had also better check.  There are any number issues that could affect us at the destination our progress, and banana splits are not the fix.  We need to “check the schedule” and see how a Space Elevator fits into the future. That is, the future as seen by others.  We need to reach out to a variety of legal, diplomatic, technological, and jurisdictional authorities and see how they see the Space Elevator fitting into their future.  If need be, ISEC should offer an enlightened view … so they see things our way.  It is our teaching moments and we need to make some plans.  We need to form our stories and stick to them.

There are several Transportation “Outreach topics”; maybe more.

Transportation System Outreach:

1.  Strategic Technology -  protection and sharing

2.  Space Traffic Management – collision management is a two-way street and we have right of way.

3.  International Jurisdictions

4.  Legal Structures

5.  Interplanetary Space Operations – they need the Space Elevator.

6.  Space Elevator’s role in Long Term; supporting farms and factories.

7.  Technology and engineering development is needed for on orbit servicing.

There are several Enterprise “Outreach topics”:

Technology readiness for technologies and engineering activities with our Enterprise partners and clients. Some ideas:

1.  Foster innovative business activities that are GEO Centric; and Apex Centric.

2.  Identify on orbit resources and tools

  • Solar Power
  • Fuels
  • Additive Printing

3.  Join activities like the Washington Business Roundtable

4.  Define broader business models for research and exploration

5.  Encourage industry players to send their proprietary Requests for Information to ISEC.

In closing

We need them to see us there!

More to come


“ . . . a finely tuned tale of cosmic consequence that will keep you turning pages far into the night . . .”

Publishers Daily Review

“ . . . proof that a good old-fashioned space yarn in the style of Heinlein and Arthur C. Clarke can still be found . . . ”

Brilliant Book Trailers

The Earth has just peeked above the lunar horizon and a terrorist roams the corridors of the Lunar Station, dealing out death and havoc.  The timing could not be worse.

It is the eve of Man’s greatest engineering triumph — construction of a space elevator that will reach skyward from the surface of the Moon.  But not everyone in the habitat is ready to celebrate that milestone.  For one person, revenge is a bigger priority than a revolutionary achievement.

It’s a tangled web indeed for Chief Engineer Clay Flynn and his right-hand man Lou Santini to unravel as they wisecrack their way through peril and pain in search of the person responsible for the bombings that threaten the very existence of the lunar habitat.


Jacob Shellenberger’s contribution to the Intern Program

Jacob Shellenberger, a senior at Arizona State University, successfully completed his Spring 2018 Academic Internship with the International Space Elevator Consortium.  On 21 April 2018, Mr. Shellenberger presented his semester long analyses of Business Models for the Galactic Harbour.  His tasking was as following:

Description:  The concept of a Galactic Harbour is the newest transition from old concepts of space elevators to a vision that combines a tremendous space transportation system [space elevators] with the space elevator Enterprise System as given in  “Transition focus to Galactic Harbour.” This unifying vision of low cost access to space with potential business opportunities enables the community to move towards a more robust understanding of the remarkable future for daily, inexpensive, routine and massive movement to space.  The specific case study that ISEC would like to have developed, at a top level, would be the development of an Earth Port region with respect to both the initial space elevator and all the supporting business functions necessary to have a successful transportation system.

His work will establish a “starting point” for academic analysis of business models for space elevators.  The picture was taken after his defense of his analyses next to the Mars rover.

Peter Swan, Ph.D. ISEC President

Excitement in Los Angeles -  26 May 2018

International Space Elevator Consortium (ISEC) Presents a Space Elevator Track at the 

National Space Society's (NSS) International Space Development Conference (ISDC)

ISEC has organized and will conduct a space elevator track.  The fun and excitement at this conference reaches far beyond space elevators with its coverage of most activities focused upon movement of humanity off-planet.  www.nss.org The four days cover most every topic of interest to include: asteroids, lunar settlements, low cost access to space, next generation space enthusiasts, many roads to space, space settlements, space solar power, Mars exploration and settlement, space law and space medicine.  The Space Elevator track will be on Saturday as follows:

2:00p        Space Elevator 101, Status & Architectures. Peter Swan (ISEC)

2:25p        Lunar Space Elevators. Michael Laine (LiftPort)

3:00p        Space Elevator Earth Port. Vern Hall (ISEC)

3:20p        Space Elevator Research and Studies. Dennis Wright (ISEC)

3:35p        ISEC History Committee Activities. Matthew Farrell (ISEC)

4:00p        NSS/NASA Ames Student Space Settlement Contest Presentation

4:10p        Galactic Harbour, A Strategic Vision Emerges. Michael Fitzgerald (ISEC)

4:35p        Questions and Answers – Fitzgerald & Swan (ISEC)

There will be a booth in the exhibit hall and much activity all weekend.  Please come and visit the NSS conference and join in the space elevator activities.

Intern Program Reminder

Deadline-15 May 2018

ISEC will have an internship program this summer to stimulate research inside the space community with the purpose of improving the Body of Knowledge on space elevators. The expectation is that the intern would work from home, putting in approximately 10 hours a week researching various components of the space elevator while working with an ISEC mentor. The selection will be competitive with the top four gaining internships. The details are as follows:

•  Process: Apply, be connected with the appropriate ISEC mentor, select topic of interest, conduct individual research, confer with mentor every two weeks, summarize research, present to mentor/and-or at the ISEC Conference.

•  Who: This program is open to all undergraduate students. The program is best suited to Freshman and Sophomores working in a scientific or engineering field, however students from all areas of study are encouraged to apply as ISEC works on all aspects of the Space Elevator challenge from technical engineering problems to questions of Space law and economics. We will be accepting up to 4 interns for Summer 2018.

•  Where: the intern will conduct Research remotely with meetings by Skype or equivalent. The intern’s final meeting will either be over Skype or at the ISEC Conference.

•  What: Interns will be researching or assisting with ongoing research of one area of Space Elevator development. Areas of research include Space Elevator History, Materials Applications for Space Elevator tethers, Earth Port infrastructure, and more. Interns will report progress regularly to their mentor and produce a summary of their research, as per agreement between intern and mentor. They will present this research in person or through a video.

•  Benefit: In addition to the unique opportunity to work with leading Space Elevator researchers each intern will be awarded a $500 grant, an ISEC certificate of completion, and a letter of recommendation.

•  Key Dates:

◦  Application due: May 15th.

◦  Internship period: June 15th-August 15th.

◦  ISEC Conference: August 25th.

To Apply:

Please submit your application and any questions to inbox@isec.org by May 15, 2018.

Your application should include your name, school, year, major [and interests], and a short summary of your interest in ISEC and why you would like to have a career in the space arena (no more than 200 words).


Fiction can serve up an imaginary feast of what the future may hold; science fiction, in particular, is a great restaurant for conjuring up these futuristic feasts. When the chief ingredient is the Space Elevator, and the chefs are some of the best writers in the business, the results are especially tasty.

Towering Yarns Vol. 1, published in December 2017 to mark the 100th Anniversary of Arthur C. Clarke's birthday, is a delectable smorgasbord of Space Elevator delights. Contributors to the anthology include (amongst others) David Brin, Mike Resnick and Paul Crilley, William H. Keith, Teresa Patterson and Jody Lynn Nye – all huge names within the Science Fiction community and winners of more awards than a 3-star Michelin restaurant.

The entrée is "Victor", a novella about a genius discovered in a most unlikely place who creates the strongest substance known to man for use as the Elevator tether; "To Touch the Face of God" is a rescue ten-thousand miles high. The menu also contains "The Hermit of the Skies" where one man just wants to be left alone, in his less-than-average home and continues with a Native American guiding the tether from "High Space" to Earth. Desert follows in the form of "The Rings of Earth" where a religious order holds access to the Elevator on a leash tighter than the tether is stretched and the marvellous "Sinews of Trantor" concerning the continuation of humanity in the face of unavoidable catastrophe segues well into the post-prandial "Into The Black"  - telling the tale of an extreme sport gone wrong.

Weaving through the book is a splash of Arthur C. Clarke himself and a dash of Charles Sheffield; extraordinarily, these two premiere writers released fiction works on the Space Elevator just months apart when nothing had been written for decades beforehand.

For connoisseurs of science fiction and for those who believe the Elevator WILL be built, and IN OUR LIFETIME, this is a book not to be missed.

Please note: for a short period of time this book will be released in limited edition form with a foreword by ISEC's very own Peter Swan and a modified cover! (See photo above.)

President’s Corner

Membership Needs

ISEC is in a transition phase from a more academic institution towards that of a developer of space elevators.  We have succeeded in many areas such as study reports [we now have seven – check for free pdfs on website], support at conferences [our own each year in Seattle, the IAC’s continuously from 2004, and the ISDC of the National Space Society for two years now, the British Interplanetary Society (Dec 7th one day event in London), and other single event activities], and a realization that the material development is in the middle of a major breakthrough [continuous growth graphene].  As such, we need more support for ISEC and we need to spread the word.  This leads to the membership question – we need more members.

Dennis Wright, our Director of Studies on the ISEC Board of Directors, has taken on this challenge for membership and we will support his efforts in the near future.  We have a new software package to assist in this endeavor.  But we also have concerns.  My biggest one is the maintenance of our current members.  We appreciate your persistence and support over the last ten years.  Recently I reviewed a process given in another membership organization entitled “7 steps to retaining members. ”  These are:

1.  Track like a bloodhound [we need to keep up with them]

2.  Who is in charge? [we now have BoD member in charge]

3.  Think like a larger organization [we are modeling on others’ successes]

4.  Offer value [we have recently reevaluated our membership value]

5.  Hello [we MUST keep communicating more than a monthly newsletter]

6.  Reach Out [yes, yes, we need to figure out how to do this more effectively]

7.  Don’t take attendance [even one event supported each year is critical]

Please recognize that ISEC is trying to “touch” our members, make your experiences more rewarding and ensure that you know you are contributing to the mission:

“A world with inexpensive, safe, routine, and efficient access to space for the benefit of all mankind.”

Keep Climbing my Friends

Pete Swan

ISEC Needs You!


In our modern world, the web and social media are the most common ways that people get their news and information about, well, everything!  ISEC wants to take fuller advantage of this trend to reach new audiences that we haven't been able to before, and spread the word about space elevators.

If you are excited about space elevators (as we know you are!) and are savvy in how to use web and social media tools, we want to talk with you!  We have the following volunteer positions open at ISEC:

  1. ISEC Webmaster -- We are looking for someone who can work with the ISEC Board and ISEC Members to publish news, study reports, and information on space elevator related topics.  We have all the basics in place, we just need someone to incorporate inputs and post them to the web.

  2. ISEC Social Media Guru -- We are looking for someone to help us drive further engagement with current and new space elevator enthusiasts in the social media arenas of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.  We would love to have someone come on board to help us maximize the use of these technologies.

  3. ISEC Board Member for Web and Social Media efforts -- We are looking for a liaison between the ISEC Board of Directors and the Webmaster, Newsletter, and Social Media Guru.  This person could also help out with any special efforts along these lines as they want.  Being on the ISEC Board means that you can influence what topics we study and how we go about educating the larger public about all the benefits of space elevators.

If any of these sound interesting, please send email to mark.dodrill@isec.org, with your interest!


Mark Dodrill

Upcoming Space Elevator Related Events:


National Space Society

International Space Development Conference

Los Angeles, CA, USA

May 24-27, 2018

Space Elevator Track

Web Site for more information: http://isdc.nss.org/2018/

International Space Elevator Consortium

Space Elevator Conference 2018

Seattle Museum of Flight

August 17-19, 2018

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