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Source: University of British Columbia

Space Elevator Team Unveils Latest Prototype for NASA Competition: UBC Team Deemed Most Likely to Win

October 11, 2006

Media preview of space elevator climber prototype
When: Thursday Oct. 12, 2006, 8:00 am - 8:00 pm ONLY
Where: UBC Physics and Astronomy Extracurricular Projects Laboratory, Room
122, Hennings Building, 6224 Agricultural Rd., UBC Vancouver
For a map and directions, visit Signs will be
posted to lead media from the UBC Bookstore to the lab.

A team of UBC engineering and science students will unveil to the media the
latest prototype of their space elevator robot, set to compete in the 2006
NASA Beam Power Challenge.

Awarded most likely to win in 2006 by judges in last year's inaugural
competition, UBC Snowstar has been featured in The New York Times and on
CNN. They will compete with more than 10 international teams for the US
$150,000 grand prize and an opportunity to revolutionize space elevator

Held this year in conjunction with the X-Prize Cup in New Mexico on Oct.
20-21, NASA challenges entrants to design and build a space elevator
"climber" capable of lifting a payload 200 feet (60 metres) straight up a
cable using only power "beamed" from a remote source. Climbers must reach a
minimum speed of one metre per second to qualify.

"Currently, the cost of launching a space shuttle is so high partly due to
the amount of fuel it must carry in order to propel itself into space," says
Snowstar team captain Steve Jones. "Using beam or solar power to remotely
fuel space elevators could be the key to eventually allow scientists to
transport equipment into orbit, some 36,000 kilometres from earth, at much
lower cost."

UBC Snowstar has also fabricated a one-metre long tether to enter the NASA
Tether Strength Challenge. Weighing only two grams, the ribbon loop is
capable of carrying more than 1,000 lbs (453.6kg) in weight.

NB: UBC Snowstar will be available to demonstrate the space elevator on
Thursday Oct. 12 ONLY.

For more information on the competition, visit

Photos of the climber are available at

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