16 January 2004
16 January 2004
The LiftPort Group of space elevator companies has come out in support of NASA's new blueprint for the space exploration program.
""We're pleased to see the renewed national commitment to the exploration of space,"" said Michael Laine, President of LiftPort, which is dedicated to the development of the first commercial elevator to space. ""With the nation, we believe that the exploration of space has and will continue to greatly benefit the world, both from the advancement of knowledge as well as the development of technology.""
Laine, who co-founded HighLift Systems, the Seattle-based company that completed the Phase II research report for NASA's Institute for Advanced Concepts (NIAC) for building a space elevator, continued: ""We see the space elevator as an important infrastructure element for the expansion of commerce and human travel into space and complimentary to the new national vision for the program.""
Under LiftPort's proposal, the first commercial space elevator would stretch 62,000 miles into space, and would act as a ""railroad"" that could transport cargo and ultimately humans to the Moon, Mars and beyond. The elevator would be constructed from a carbon nanotube composite ribbon anchored to an offshore sea platform and to a small counterweight in space. Robotic ""lifters"" attached to the ribbon would carry cargo ranging from satellites to solar powered panels and eventually humans, reducing launch costs from $10,000 - $20,000 per pound, to approximately $500 per pound.
According to LiftPort, the first commercial space elevator could be operational as early as 2018. Key developmental milestones planned by LiftPort in 2004 include two major tests of the robotic lifters, including one using a high altitude balloon.
A revolutionary means of traveling into space, the space elevator concept has been the subject of research by the scientific community for more than half a century, ranging from HighLift Systems to NASA. More recently, the National Space Society (NSS), one of the leading grassroots space advocacy organizations, announced its support of the concept.
Australian organisations Austrak, Laing O’Rourke and the University of Southern Queensland (USQ) have joined forces to develop polymer composite solutions for bridge transoms in a $10 million project titled Polymer Composite Transoms for Rail Bridge Deck Replacement (CompTrans).
The American Composites Manufacturers Association (ACMA) led a Transportation and Defence Fly-In, 25-26 September 2018, during which ACMA members and staff met with more than 75 congressional offices and several key decision makers from federal agencies.
As the rail sector looks to new technologies to enable it to answer sustainability, performance and cost challenges, applications for pultruded composites are set to grow, according to a new report from the European Pultrusion Technology Association (EPTA). Lightweight, high performance, durable composites offer energy efficient solutions with lower environmental impact and reduced through-life costs in rolling stock and rail infrastructure.