Background Information

The Idea of the "Space Elevator"

Concept of Space Elevator

The fundamental idea of the “space elevator” goes back to 1895, when the scientist Konstantin Tsiolkovsky considered building a tower from the surface of the Earth and reaching into the geostationary orbit. The Artsutanov paper – 1960 – proposed a way to build a tensile structure to the geostationary orbit.

The aim was and still is, among other objectives, to deliver payload – satellites, astronauts or other equipment – to space in an economically viable way. This idea could be an alternative solution to the expensive use of rockets.

The actual concept of the space elevator system includes a tether reaching from the surface of the Earth to the geostationary orbit. To keep the tether taut by means of gravitational and rotational forces, the center of mass of the space elevator has to be kept above this orbit. A climber is attached to the tether, which carries the payload up to the space station or to the satellite. The energy supply is planned to be realized by “power beaming” (such as laser), as well as using solar cells.

European Space Elevator Challenge

The challenge is to establish a climber structure in compliance with predetermined requirements (see General Rules and Requirements), keeping in mind the idea of a real space elevator.

Our focus is on:

The objectives of European Space Elevator Challenge are,

These aims are considered as long-term goals and cannot be accomplished with one competition. Hence, our goal is to organize the European Space Elevator Challenge annually.

The Organizers

The European Space Elevator Challenge is organized by WARR e.V., the Scientific Workgroup for Rocketry and Spaceflight at Technical University of Munich (TUM). It is directly affiliated with the Institute of Astronautics (lrt).

WARR was founded in 1962 and is one of the oldest scientific workgroups of TUM. The aim of WARR is to provide its members with the opportunity to accomplish scientific work and gain experience in practical projects as an addition to their studies. Its over 100 student members are organized in multiple groups, working on different topics such as hybrid rocket engines, cubesats, space elevators and the Hyperloop.

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Sponsors and Partners

Vestner hochhinaus Linde Aliens Bergsport Tendon Gth & Wolf Teijin Aramid Department of Mechanical Engineering - Technical University of Munich Wiese Foto + Film Deutsche Gesellschaft fr Luft- und Raumfahrt BESL EuroSpaceward