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Space elevator climb test at MIT in 2005

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Published on May 11, 2007

On a snowy, gusty fall day on the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) campus in Cambridge, MA, little "Squeak" climbs just over 300 feet on a ribbon suspended from the roof of a tall building while several hundred observers watch both from the ground and from the windows of a nearby building. The climb text coincided with a Students for the Exploration of Space (SEDS - http://www.seds.org ) conference being held at MIT (http://www.mit.edu ).

MIT security required that the lifter robot have a safety line attached in case it fell. Unfortunately, the wind caused the safety line and ribbon to entangle with the robot, which came to a stop before reaching the top. However, within moments, "Squeak" broke the safety line and kept climbing - much to the relief of the LiftPort team - and completed the climb successfully.

This was the first and only public demo of the system and it was the last climb up a building. At this point we had learned everything we could from climbing the side of a building. We had to climb higher - i.e., use balloons.

While at MIT, we also forged couple of interesting relationships: the MIT carbon nanotube lab & a budding relationship with the Air Force.

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