“Space Elevators” to be Constructed as Part of the Technobrain Competition to be Held at Technion
Yuri Artsutanov, the Leningrad engineer who developed the idea of the ”space elevator,” will travel from Russia to Israel especially to judge the competition; among the competitors this year – three father-and-son teams of Technion graduates and students
Yuri Artsutanov, the engineer who developed the concept of the “space elevator,” will be the guest of honor and one of the judges in the traditional Technobrain Competition to be held at the Technion on June 18 as part of the Board of Governors meeting. Among the competitors this year – three father-and-son teams of Technion graduates (fathers) and students (sons).
The concept of the “space elevator” first appeared in 1895 when a Russian scientist by the name of Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, inspired by the newly constructed Eifel Tower in Paris, thought of a tower that reached all the way into space. In 1957 Yuri Artsutanov drew up a more feasible plan for building such a space tower. He proposed using a geostationary satellite as a base from which to build it. He suggested lowering a cable toward Earth while a counterweight was extended from Earth, keeping the cable’s center of gravity at the geosynchronous point. Artsutanov published his ideas in the Sunday supplement Komsomolskaya Pravda (a national newspaper) in 1960.
The challenge of this year’s Technobrain is to build a device capable of climbing in a nearly vertical manner (at an 80 degree angle to the ground), to a height of 25 meters (for this purpose the Technion has ordered a huge crane), and then slide down from this height while lifting a “space elevator” carrying practical cargo from the other side of the pulley (the position of the pulley will signify the location of the Space Station in space, while the mission course will emulate the movement of the space elevator).
Contestants will not be allowed to use energy sources of combustion or open flame of any kind. In addition, at the height of 12.5-17 meters, competing devices will release a flag or other visual signal to mark the point of no return.
Winners of the competition will be awarded 5,000 and 3,000 NIS cash prizes.
The Technobrain Competition is in its twelfth year, in memory of its promoter and founder Neev-Ya Durban, a student and outstanding Technion graduate. Neev-Ya was serving as an officer in the IDF when he was murdered during a mugging on a quiet street in Tel-Aviv in March 2003. The competition and the prizes are funded by Dr. Robert Shillman (who everyone knows as “Dr. Bob”), who did his graduate work at the Technion. Yuri Artsutanov’s visit to the Technion is supported through the Dean of Students Office, the Asher Space Research Institute (ASRI), and the foundation founded by family members of Norman and Helen Asher from Chicago.