In 2010, ISEC created the Yuri Artsutanov and Jerome Pearson Prizes to help stimulate the participation of individuals around the globe in the study of space elevator related topics. The prizes are named in honor of the two original members of the space elevator community.
Yuri Artsutanov is a Russian Engineer who was the first to publish the idea of a tensile structure being used to access space in 1959. Several years later, American Engineer Jerome Pearson published his research on “Orbital Towers” where he came to the same conclusions as Yuri in a completely seperate fashion.
Each year the ISEC Board of Directors selects a Theme that is used to direct many of the activities of the organization for that year. That Theme is the required subject matter of one or both of the prizes, as determined by the ISEC Board of Directors.
Anyone who is interested can submit their original work for the Artsutanov Prize while the Pearson Prize is open only to undergraduate level students. Their work is reviewed by the ISEC Prize committee and prizes are awarded to winning papers in the amounts of $2,500 for the Artsutanov Prize and $1,500 for the Pearson Prize.
Results from the Competition are shown below.
For 2012, ISEC has decided to rework the competition schedule. In previous years, the competition topic was announced in the first quarter of the year with submissions expected by the end of the second quarter. This proved to be too challenging for most contestants, especially students. So, ISEC will announce the following years competition at the annual Space Elevator conference (normally held in August). This will give everyone, especially students, several more months to come up with a competition entry.