The International Space Elevator Consortium (ISEC)
  • Sandy Curth Presenting
    Sandy Curth Presenting
  • Kid's Climber Competition 1
    Kid's Climber Competition 1
  • 2016 MOF Front Door
    2016 MOF Front Door
  • Kid's Climber Competition 2
    Kid's Climber Competition 2
  • IAA Study Presentation
    IAA Study Presentation
  • Kid's Climber Competition 3
    Kid's Climber Competition 3
  • Pete Swan
    Pete Swan
  • Bryan Laubscher
    Bryan Laubscher
  • Fitzer Presenting the Architecture Report
    Fitzer Presenting the Architecture Report
  • 2016 Group Photo
    2016 Group Photo

A new ISEC Report, Design Characteristics of a Space Elevator Earth Port, is now available in both print and electronic formats.  This report is the latest in a series of yearly ISEC publications - each one designed to explore a specific aspect of understanding, constructing and/or operating a space elevator.  This is the fifth report in this series.  Previous report topics included:

  • Space Debris Mitigation - Space Elevator Survivability
  • Concept of Operations
  • Design Considerations on Space Elevator Tether Climber
  • Space Elevator Architectures and Roadmaps

This current report, Design Characteristics of a Space Elevator Earth Port, "...provides the International Space Elevator Consortium’s (ISEC) view of the Earth Port (formerly known as the Marine Node) of a Space Elevator system. The Earth Port: Serves as a mechanical and dynamical termination of the space elevator tether; Serves as a port for receiving and sending Ocean Going Vessels (OGVs); Provides landing pads for helicopters from the OGVs; Serves as a facility for attaching and detaching payloads to and from tether climbers and attaching and detaching climbers to and from the tether; Provides tether climber power for the 40 km above the Floating Operations Platform (FOP); and, Provides food and accommodation for crew members as well as power, desalinization, waste management and other such support."

It is available in print format for $9.00 from the ISEC Store or in .pdf format: 2015 ISEC Space Elevator Earth Port.

Construction worker iconA new document has been posted on this website summarizing the major architectural designs of the space elevator which have been proposed over the years.  From the introduction:

Space Elevator Architectures have matured since their introduction in the last decade of the 19th century, shown in the 20th century with science fiction expanding many concepts, and finally with modern day designs during the first two decades of the 21st century...

Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, a Russian rocket scientist, pioneered astronautics’ theory in general and specifically conceptualized a building growing to GEO orbit, in 1895 [Tsiolkovski, 1959]. This particular concept focused on aspects of the Geosynchronous orbit. This led to a series of five space elevator architectures over the last 75 years. The first two were significant leaps in understanding, while the last three have lead to the current breadth of concepts:

  • In 1960, Yuri Artsutanov presented a real approach visualizing how it could be achieved – a big leap from Tsiolkovsky’s concept.
  • Then, in 1974, Jerome Pearson resolved many issues with engineering calculations of the required tether strengths and various approaches for deployment. This was, once again, a leap beyond Tsiolkovsky’s work and set the stage for the “modern design” for space elevators.
  • Dr. Edwards established the current baseline for designing space elevator infrastructures at the turn of the century with his book: “Space Elevators” [Edwards, 2002]. He established that the engineering could be accomplished in a reasonable time with reasonable resources. His baseline is solid; and, it was leveraged for the next two refinements of this transportation infrastructure concept.
  • The International Academy of Astronautics used Dr. Edwards’ design and the intervening ten years of excellent development work from around the globe. Forty-­‐one authors combined to improve the concept and establish new approaches, expanding the Edwards’ baseline.
  • The most recent version of space elevator architectures is the recently released view by the Obayashi Corporation. Their set of assumptions of the study established stricter requirements and resulted in a longer developmental period with increased payload capacity.

This document can be found Space Elevator Architectures Report.

Page from a dictionaryA new document has been posted to the ISEC website - the Space Elevator Lexicon.  From the document:

"Terminology is an important area that should be focused upon.  The following summary of a lexicon of space elevator terms should help all of us communicate via common usage.  Recently, the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) and the ISEC have agreed to develop a common lexicon.  This ISEC presentation has three components to its proposed Lexicon.  The first is an image of a space elevator as seen in both the ISEC and the current IAA study.  The second is a table of those major terms.  The third is a preliminary list of additional terms that should be considered as part of the overall Space Elevator Lexicon.  Please provide your feedback with new terms or enhancements describing the space elevator infrastructure to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.."

This document can be found under the Resources Tab or you can click here.

Gold coins graphicThe ISEC Membership Drive has been extended through March 5th, 2016!  Until then, new members may join and current members can renew at a reduced rate!

Those who join or renew at the Professional level will only have to pay $58, a $10 discount from the normal $68 rate. Professional level members are entitled to receive the print version of any issue of CLIMB, the Space Elevator Journal, or Via Ad Astra, the Space Elevator Magazine or any ISEC Report.

Those who join or renew at the Student level will only have to pay $20, a $5 discount from the normal $25 rate. Student level members are entitled to receive the electronic version of any issue of CLIMB or Via Ad Astra or any ISEC Report.

So, take advantage of the reduced rates, visit the ISEC member join/renew page and join or renew your membership before prices go up!

Site Search

ISEC Study Reports

Direct links to all ISEC generated Study Reports can be found below.

More detailed page is: ISEC Space Elevator Reports for Download

Space Elevator Status as of Summer 2016

2016 - Design Considerations for the Space Elevator: GEO Node, Apex Anchor and a Communications Architecture

This report will be available from the ISEC web site, ISEC store, or directly from the publisher, [after publication in March 2017].

2015 ISEC Space Elevator Earth Port

2014 ISEC Space Elevator Architecture and Roadmap

2013 ISEC Design Considerations for Space Elevator Tether Climbers

2012 ISEC Space Elevator Concept of Operations

2010 ISEC Space Debris Final Report

Space Elevator - A History

CLIMB - The Space Elevator Journal

Download .pdf copies of the CLIMB, the Space Elevator Journal:









Via Ad Astra Magazine

Download .pdf copies of the Via Ad Astra magazine:









2017 ISEC Space Elevator Conference, Seattle, WA, August 25-27, 2017 at the Museum of Flight

Space Elevator Research

There is a lot of activity in Space Elevator Research:

Space Elevator Publications List

Space Elevator Research Workshop

ISEC Research Committee

Updated Space Elevator Publications on!

 Studies: Chair – Dennis Wright 

 2010    Space Debris: Skip Penny, Peter Swan, Cathy Swan

 2011    Search for 30 MYuri:  Bryan Laubscher

 2012    Ops Concept: Skip Penny, Peter Swan, Cathy Swan

 2013    Tether Climbers:  Peter Swan, Skip Penny, Peter Glaskowsky, John Knapman, Cathy Swan

 2014    Architectures:  Fitzer Fitzgerald, Skip Penny, Cathy Swan, Peter Swan

 2015    Earth Port:     Vern Hall, Skip Penny, Sandee Schaeffer, Peter Glaskowsky

 2016    GEO/AA/Comm’s:     Paul Phister, Fitzer Fitzgerald, Vern Hall, Skip Penny, Peter Swan, Peter Glaskowsky, Ron Cole, David Ackerman, Chris Malek

 2017    Design Considerations for Space Elevator Simulation


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"The ISEC promotes the development, construction and operation of a Space Elevator (SE) Infrastructure as a revolutionary and efficient way to space for all humanity."

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