The third time ’round hasn’t brought any luck to the space elevator crowd. The NASA-sponsored challenge is in its third year of running, and while technology is improving at a rapid rate, it’s still not quite ready to meet the Space Elevator challenge’s demands. Speed requirements have been boosted to 2 meters per second, and this year’s contest seems have gone off without the geeky rule disputes of last year. The University of Saskatchewan came closest to claiming the prize with its ground laser-powered bot, and only fell a few seconds short of the required speed. Hopefully next year will see a winner, and we’ll all get our shot at being fried by ionizing radiation before the century is up.
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