the wake of last month’s press release regarding
the establishment of LiftPort Nanotech’s (LPNT)
first nanotube production facility, there have been
several misconceptions circulated in the media about
LiftPort’s progress toward building a Space
Elevator. While it is impossible to correct every
nationally syndicated news article, this letter is
intended to clarify the situation for our most enthusiastic
and loyal supporters.
Firstly, LiftPort has not begun fabrication on actual
Space Elevator components. The funds secured for
the construction of a carbon nanotube production
facility will be used to build machines that will
produce multi-walled carbon nanotubes in bulk. They
will not be building Space Elevator-ready ribbon
or material that will immediately go into a ribbon.
This facility is intended to provide LiftPort with
a source of funding by furnishing high quality multi-walled
carbon nanotubes for terrestrial applications. It
will also give LiftPort a knowledge base that will
be quite useful once the firm does begin experimenting
with Space Elevator scale components. It is unlikely
that LPNT alone will be the company to produce a
material with the strength required for a Space Elevator.
There are many commercial and non-commercial entities
working in this area and it is more than likely that
LPNT will partner with one to produce an appropriate
SE ribbon. Therefore, it is only the first step in
solving the materials strength problem posed by constructing
a Space Elevator, not the final answer.
there has been some misunderstanding as to the
design of the Space Elevator ribbon. Certain representatives
of the press have incorrectly reported that the
width of the final Space Elevator ribbon will be
eight inches. The baseline design (as originally
conceived by Dr. Brad Edwards) has always called
for a final width of three feet. However, the initial “string” to
be deployed will be eight inches wide, which will
then be “built up” to three feet wide
over several years. The ribbon’s depth will
still be measured in microns and its length will
be roughly 62,000 miles. Based on internal LiftPort
research, this baseline may be modified in the near
future. For now, LiftPort will maintain a program
that is consistent with other teams working in this
field. LiftPort intends to peer review our modifications
in the coming year.
would like to remind our readers that with a project
as complex as the Space Elevator, sometimes busy
media professionals misinterpret some details or
misquote certain data. The most accurate and up-to-date
source of information regarding LiftPort and the
Space Elevator is LiftPort’s website at www.liftport.com.
LiftPort failed to properly recognize the Mars
Society in our last newsletter. Through the efforts
of the Mars Desert Research Station (MRDS) crew
#37 from Georgia Tech, LiftPort has gained valuable
data for our lifters. The MDRS is maintained and
supported by the Mars Society. LiftPort, the Mars
Society and Georgia Tech have been working closely
to test LiftPort’s robotic Lifter prototypes
at their Mars Desert Research Station in Utah. Our
friends at these organizations have worked tirelessly
on behalf of the Space Elevator and are very dedicated
to the cause of space exploration. Our readers are
encouraged to learn about the Mars Society at www.marssociety.org.
The full field reports of crew 37, the team that
took our 'bot to the desert, can be found at www.gtmars.com/reports.asp.
Thank you for your continued support!
The Staff of LiftPort Group
May 2, 2005