Private U.S. Company Plans ‘Space Elevator’ to the Moon

lol dafuq.

With the recent passing of Neil Armstrong forty-three years after  stepping foot on the moon; coupled with NASA’s successful venture to Mars by the Curiosity Rover, the question of why we haven’t begun to colonize our closest celestial neighbor has been raised. A simple, cost effective method of transporting people and equipment to the lunar surface, away from the Earth’s gravity would lead to untold possibilities in research and further space exploration.

One company, the U.S. based LiftPort Group is seeking to create such a method. They have created a Kickstarter account in an attempt to crowd-source a tether which would reach 55,000km above the moon’s surface. Of course, any vehicle would first have to leave the Earth’s atmosphere and rendezvous with the tether, but it would certainly make lunar travel a far less expensive and troublesome process. From LiftPort Group’s official website:

Once the Lunar Elevator is fully functioning, astronauts and equipment will be able to soft-land cargo on the Lunar surface. Compared to flying the Space Shuttle, humankind will be able to travel 1000 times farther for 1/10th the price. Using our models, we believe we can build a LSEI that can transport three dozen people to the Moon per year “…before this decade is out.

While NASA collects invaluable data from the other planets in the solar system, it appears private interests will play a huge role in forging humanity’s future beyond the Earth’s surface.

(image via

Guys, space elevators are feasible right now. Rather than put one on the Earth, why not put one on someplace significantly smaller? The Moon, for example? Turns out there are materials today that can support the tension such an elevator would experience going from the lunar surface to an Earth-Moon lagrange point

You know what’s even wilder? A company called LiftPort met its goals on kickstarter and is now funded to begin their plan to setup a lunar space elevator by 2020. It seems pretty ambitious to me, but who knows? There’s a company planning to mine asteroids now.

Check out LiftPort’s site at the link below. Their website is pretty desolate right now, but the main page has their plans in a nutshell:

Visualized: A table full of space elevator robot prototypes - published on: Technology Companies List

It’s not every day you come across this sort of thing — well, not unless your friends are the sort of folks who take it upon themselves to transform space travel as we know it. We popped into Liftport’s workspace, during a recent visit to the Pacific Northwest, to check in on the progress of the Kickstarter-funded space company. Much of Liftport’s innovation is occurring in a garage loaded with arcade cabinets and pinball machines in various states of disrepair and an army of…

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Visualized: A table full of space elevator robot prototypes

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Visualized: A table full of space elevator robot prototypes


Somebody is going to build the first space elevator. I’m backing this guy, because he asked nicely. I am not ready to leave space travel to “the people who have all the fun after I am dead.”

A new documentary project, ‘Shoot the Moon,’ is chronicling LiftPort’s quest to make this a reality.

Logistics and infrastructure are the first bottleneck. 

If we can figure out how to get raw materials into space at a fraction of today’s costs, we can stage manufacturing outfits in space or on micro-gravity planetary bodies. 

This will be the biggest spring board for the Space Economy the same way rail roads, air shipping, and the internet were monumental to driving economic progress.  

Crowd-Funding The First Ever Lunar Space Elevator

Originally published in Speed Magazine, December 2012

Image credit: Liftport

Imagine an elevator extending from the Moon’s surface into space that would allow us to safely land cargo, and even people, on the Moon using current technology. Sounds far-fetched? Not so says a company headed by former NASA researcher Michael Laine. In fact, he’s pretty confident we can do it in less than a decade. All it would take is $800 million.

Laine’s company, Liftport, has already successfully raised over $38,000 via Kickstarter to fund research for what they say is the precursor to building the first space elevator on the moon: a robotic car that would be sent two kilometers up via a cable and high-altitude helium balloon platforms that are tethered to the ground that could also act as communications towers.

While the next short-term goal is to raise $3 million to help fund a one-year feasibility study for the moon space elevator project they’re hoping to spearhead, Laine emphasized that he set a relatively modest initial fundraising goal to garner media attention and get people interested in the endeavor. Meanwhile, Japanese construction company Obayashi Corporation has also set the goal of building a space elevator by 2050. Let the space elevator race begin!

Most of you are probably familiar with the obstacles preventing the construction of an Earth-based space elevator anytime soon. Space entrepreneur Michael Laine was among those striving to make it happen via his company LiftPort in the early 2000s, though those efforts ultimately failed.

Nonetheless, LiftPort was back at it last summer, attacking the problem from a different direction. They ran a high-profile and wildly successful Kickstarter campaign to fund their first steps toward building a lunar elevator, which turns out to be a lot easier. In fact, the projected final costs would only be $800 million. All things considered, this strikes us as a good bargain, especially when compared to, say, the breathtaking price of expanding rail capacity under the Hudson River.

We’re reminded here of one of our favorite passages from the script for ELE↓↑TOR:

ELIJAH OTIS [gasping and coughing horribly]: They spanned the continent with rail–but still they encountered the water. We might populate the seas in vast submersibles–and despair nonetheless when we reach the ocean floor. But the cosmos: the cosmos is infinite–and it is on that firmament we must inscribe our impossible destiny. Ever upward, ever outward–we approach the boundary of some as yet unimagined asymptote. All this was foretold to me twenty years ago–in Oswego, New York, by an ancient Mohegan witch-woman.