X-Prize Cup Follow Up: No Winners in Space Elevator Competition

Looks like there were no winners in the X Prize Cup’s space elevator cup competition this past weekend in Las Cruces, NM. The competition, which  we wrote about last week, put twenty teams against one another in two categories, climbing and tether strength. According to an article on earthtimes.org:

Although none of the teams were declared winners, the University of Saskatchewan Team (USST) was just two seconds short of winning the prize, as they managed to climb 200-foot- high carbon fiber ribbon in two seconds over the time allotted to them.

While there weren’t any winners, this year teams did far better than they have previously, according to Ben Shelef, an executive at the Spaceward Foundation that sponsored the competition. Shelef reminded those interested interested in the competition that:

"For year one, we attracted seven teams and didn’t climb the tether. This year we had four teams make it up to the top, and one came very close to claiming the prize. We didn’t want to make the competition too easy and we can’t make it too hard, so it looks like we are walking the line."

Interested in taking a stab at the challenge during next year’s cup? Looks like you might have an even greater incentive to succeed: Shelef announced that the prize money from this year’s competition will rollover to next year’s, leaving the climbing and tether strength competitions with a combined purse of $500,000.

Even if it means having to take the stairs this year, building the (space) elevator next year has become even sweeter…

Leave a Reply