A Space Elevator Solstice

Public group

Location visible to members


Important note: This event is back in Portland this year rather than in Seattle like it was in 2015.

Have you been to the Space Elevator Conference and felt envious of the kids who get to build and test their own LEGO ribbon climbers? Are you a newbie curious to learn more about the Space Elevator and what it could mean for our future? Do you just want to see our amazing Galaxy Plate ceremony, in which we literally spread a wave of green fire across the Milky Way?

Please join us for a celebration of the longest night of the year - a perfect time to think about the wondrous possibility of traveling across the starry sky. We'll start with a short series of videos presenting the Space Elevator concept, including one from Nova, one from Liftport (the Space Elevator Company), and one made by Ben for a college project back in 2005.

Then we'll start building at least one motorized elevator climber using LEGOs. The adults can work on the problems of gearing, drive wheels that grip the ribbon tight enough, and balance, while the kids (including the Sanders' 7 and 4 year old boys Sequoia and Ren) build us a passenger compartment full of astronauts.

We'll test the climber(s) on a 5 meter indoor ribbon climb! The ribbon we will use is a roll of sturdy reflective tape. We can also remove part of the backing if we need the ribbon to be a bit sticky!

The rough schedule of events is the following:

4:30pm Video intros

4:45ish Build climbers

6:30ish Pizza & Snacks

7:30ish Climbing

8:00ish Galaxy plate ritual

The Galaxy Plate ritual celebrates the glorious long-term future of life expanding across the Galaxy and the wider Universe, a journey of a billion light-years for which the Space Elevator may prove to be the crucial first step.