NASA has been trying to find someone that could meet its rigorous Space Elevator
demands since 2005 and, after some notable failures
, we finally have a winner. A company called LaserMotive has won the Beam Power Challenge, tasked with creating a laser-powered robot able to lift a weight on a cable at a speed of greater than two meters per second. LaserMotive's bot nearly doubled that, managing 3.9 meters per second in one test. It was the only competitor to beat the requirement, meaning it gets the full $900,000 prize, and if anyone ever gets around to winning the Tether Challenge
we might just be able to get somewhere. Nausea-inducing test video is embedded below.