Wednesday, July 25, 2007

LiftPort Arising From The Ashes? Authentic NASA Toys and Replicas
(Hat Tip: Space Elevator Blog)

(Image Credit: LiftPort)

LiftPort, a company dedicated to building the worlds first space elevator may be having a recent change of fortune. Having previously encountered what some would regard as a "mortal wound," it looks as if the company may be making a comeback after launching their sister company, Tethered Towers.

(Cosmic Log) "I've got four people I'm talking to right now as potential customers," he said. "Any one of them will be good. Two or three of them will put us in great shape. And I think that's just the beginning. I think we're going to be OK."

Laine declined to go into the detailed applications envisioned by his potential customers - or, more accurately, his potential strategic partners. But he said the business model called for balloon-borne platforms capable of staying up for three to 10 days. Such platforms could be used for aerial wireless communications during an emergency, or for aerial monitoring of a particular area.

"For example, if you want to monitor bison migration in Wyoming, you put a balloon up there and you can watch what's going on," he said. "We've talked about border security, things like that. ... We can't tackle all of [the potential applications], so what we're trying to do is find partners. Each of them have their own markets, they're not overlapping."

LiftPort is one of several companies striving to build a space elevator on (or orbiting) planet Earth. Although there are many other groups desiring to construct a "railroad to the stars," LiftPort is probably one of the few out there who seek to do this entirely in the private sector (as opposed to relying on NASA who does not seem too fond of the concept).

Hopefully LiftPort can arise from its financial ashes like a Phoenix, as its demise would be a devastating blow to the space elevator community.

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You can either visit the stars or watch them from afar.

But if you choose the former, you'll definitely get a better view.

~Darnell Clayton, 2007

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