A space elevator project has shown up on Kickstarter courtesy of the LiftPort Group, which is looking to raise $8,000 to fund the project that will be placed on the moon, hopefully around the year 2020.
Yahoo! News reports that the company is headed by a former NASA researcher, who believes that the space elevator concept is possible using today’s technology. The company plans to use their Kickstarter funds to create a floating balloon platform tethered to the ground, which will assist a robot to climb 1.2 miles into the sky.
Michael Laine, president of theLiftPort Group, stated according to Bayou Buzz that:
“About six months ago we had a fundamental breakthrough — a breakthrough we think will transform human civilization — and we want you to be a part of it.”
The project is big for space enthusiasts as well as the company, who closed its doors during the 2007-2012 economic recession. Laine added that the project has “Sputnik-like simplicity” and will allow the LiftPort group to build the space elevator on the moon using a single-launch rocket solution. He also believes that the concept could be a reality in the next eight years.
Building a space elevator on the moon would be easier than building one on Earth because of the moon’s lack of substantial gravity and atmosphere. These factors would place huge stress on the material that makes up the elevator’s tether. If successful, the technology could also act as a cheap communications “tower” on Earth, helping to provide wireless internet, monitor crops, watch for forest fires, and even carry cameras to show a sky picture of natural disaster areas.
Laine’s ambition is to raise $3 million but not with the first Kickstarter fund. Instead, the company’s founder is hoping to hit a goal of $100,000. Laine stated:
“If we ‘only’ hit $8,001, then we are going to remain a ‘hobby’ team. If we can hit this number, then LiftPort is a ‘…before this decade is out…’ Lunar Elevator company!”
Michael Laine and the LiftPort Group are not the only ones trying to create a real-life, working space elevator. Seattle-based LaserMotive has won the NASA sponsored Space Elevator Games, while Japan’s Obayashi Corp has the goal of building a space elevator by 2050.
To date, Michael Laine and the LiftPort Group have raised over $9,624 on their Kickstarter page with 17 days to go.