Who We Are
- The International Space Elevator Consortium (ISEC) is composed of individuals and organizations from around the world who share a vision of humanity in space.
Our Vision is:
- A world with inexpensive, safe, routine, and efficient access to space for the benefit of all mankind.
Our Mission is to:
- Promote the development, construction and operation of a Space Elevator (SE) Infrastructure as a revolutionary and efficient way to space for all humanity.
What We Do:
- Provide technical leadership promoting development, construction, and operation of space elevator infrastructures.
- Become the "go to" organization for all things space elevator.
- Energize and stimulate the public and the space community to support a space elevator for low-cost access to space.
- Stimulate STEM* activities while supporting educational gatherings, meetings, workshops, classes, and other similar events to carry out this mission. [*STEMs are Science, Technology, Engineering & Math educational initiatives across the globe]
A Brief History
The idea for an organization like ISEC had been discussed for years; but, it wasn’t until the Space Elevator Conference in Redmond, Washington, in July of 2008, that things became serious. Interest and enthusiasm for the SE had reached an all-time peak; and, with Space Elevator conferences upcoming in both Europe and Japan, it felt that this was the time to formalize an international organization. An initial set of Directors and officers were elected and they immediately began the difficult task of unifying the disparate efforts of Space Elevator supporters world-wide. ISEC's first Strategic Plan was adopted in January of 2010 and it is now the driving force behind ISEC's efforts. This Strategic Plan calls for adopting a yearly theme (for 2010 it was "Space Elevator Survivability - Space Debris Mitigation") which focuses ISEC activities. In 2010, ISEC also announced the first annual Artsutanov and Pearson prizes to be awarded for “exceptional papers that advance our understanding of the Space Elevator.” Because of the common goals and hopes for the future of mankind, off-planet, ISEC became an Affiliate organization with the National Space Society, in August of 2013.
ISEC’s activities are pushing the concept of space elevators forward. These cross all the disciplines and encourage people from around the world to participate. The following activities are being accomplished in parallel;
- CLIMB Journal – This peer review journal invites and evaluates papers and presents them in a journal with the purpose of explaining technical advances to the public. The first Journal was dedicated to Mr. Yuri Artsutanov [co-inventor] with the second Journal dedicated to Mr. Jerome Pearson [co-inventor]. Published periodically.
- Via Ad Astra Space Elevator Magazine - This publication contains articles of a technical nature and may also contains interviews, fiction, artwork, event summaries, etc.
- Yearly Conference – International space elevator conferences were initiated by Dr. Edwards in the Seattle area in 2002. Follow-on conferences were in Santa Fe , Washington DC , Albuquerque [2005/6 –smaller sessions], and Seattle [2008 to the present]. At each of these conferences, there were many discussions accross the whole arena of space elevators with remarkable concepts and presentations. The current conferences [beginning in 2012] are sponsored by Microsoft, Seattle Museum of Flight, Space Elevator Blog, Leeward Space Foundation, and ISEC.
- Year Long Study – ISEC sponsors research into a focused topic each year to ensure progress in a discipline within the space elevator project. The first was in 2010 and evaluated the threat of space debris. The second study, and resulting report, focused for the Concept of Operations of space elevators. The current study is focusing on tether climber designs. The 2014 topic has been chosen: Space Elevator Architectures and Roadmaps. The products from these studies are reports that are published to show progress in the development of space elevators.
- International Cooperation – The ISEC supports many activities around the globe to ensure that space elevators keep progressing towards a developmental program. International activities include coordinating with the two other major societies focusing on space elevators; Japanese Space Elevator Association & EuroSpaceward. In addition, ISEC supports symposia and presentations at the International Academy of Astronautics and the International Astronautical Federation Congress each year.
- Competitions – ISEC has a history of actively supporting competitions that push technologies in the area of space elevators. The initial activities were centered on NASA’s Centennial Challenges called “Elevator: 2010.” Inside this were two specific challenges: Tether Challenge and Beam Power Challenge. The highlight was when Laser Motive won $900,000, in 2009, as they reached one kilometer in altitude racing other teams up a tether suspended from a helicopter. There were also multiple competitions where different strengths of materials were tested going for a NASA prize – with no winners. In addition, ISEC supports educational efforts of various organizations, such as the LEGO space elevator climb competition, at our Seattle conference. Competitions have also been conducted in both Japan and Europe.
- Publications – ISEC publishes a monthly e-Newsletter, yearly study reports, a technical journal [CLIMB] and a magazine [Via Ad Astra] to help spread information about Space Elevators.
- Reference Material – ISEC is building a Space Elevator Library, including a reference database of Space Elevator related papers and publications.
- Outreach – People need to be made aware of the idea of a Space Elevator. Our Outreach activity is responsible for providing the blueprint to reach societal, governmental, educational, and media institutions and expose them to the need for a Space Elevator. ISEC members are readily available to speak at conferences and other public events in support of the Space Elevator. In addition to our monthly e-Newsletter, we are also on Facebook, Linked In, and Twitter.
- Legal – The Space Elevator is going to break new legal ground. Existing Space Treaties may need to be amended. New Treaties may be needed. International cooperation must be sought. Insurability will be a requirement. Legal activities encompass the legal foundation of the Space Elevator - international maritime, air, and space law. Also, there will be interest within IP, liability, and commerce law. Starting work on the legal foundation well in advance will result in a more rational product - legal opinions that pre-date a Space Elevator.
- History Committee – The ISEC is supporting a small group of volunteers to assess the history of the space elevator. The committee’s purpose is to provide insight into the progress being achieved currently and over the last century.
- Research Committee – The ISEC is gathering the insight of researchers from around the world with respect to the future of space elevators. As scientific papers, reports and books are published, the research committee is pulling together the relative progress to assist academia and industry to progress towards an operational space elevator infrastructure.
Our Partners and Our Associates
ISEC is gathering groups from around the globe to bring space elevator issues forward. Founding members, including both the Spaceward and EuroSpaceward Foundations, strive for a general expansion of space exploration. Groups such as the Space Elevator Reference, the Space Elevator Blog and the Space Elevator Conference Organizing Committee all have a long history in the realm of Space Elevators. The Japan Space Elevator Association also holds the mutual goal of building a Space Elevator as soon as feasible. We are also an affiliate organization with the National Space Society, as they share our basic mission for expansion into space.
ISEC is a traditional 501(c)(3)organization (EIN 80-0302896), with a board of directors and a series of officers; President, Vice President, Treasurer, and Secretary. In addition, ISEC is closely associated with the conference preparation team and other volunteer members.
The ISEC Team