LOS ALAMOS, NM, Sept. 9, 2003 -Sir Arthur C. Clarke, world-renowned
science fiction author, will address the Second Annual Space Elevator
Conference held Sept. 12-15 in Santa Fe. The event is co-sponsored by
Los Alamos National Laboratory and the Institute for Scientific
Research Inc. (ISR).

Clarke, the author of “2001: A Space Odyssey,” “Fountains of
Paradise” and many other novels, will open the conference with a live
address via satellite at 8 a.m., Saturday, Sept. 13, from his home in
Sri Lanka.

Clarke has included space elevator imagery in several of his novels
and has long been a champion of this revolutionary means of space
travel. The conference will bring together individuals and
institutions interested in solving the scientific and engineering
challenges inherent in constructing the world’s first space elevator.

Said conference organizer Bryan E. Laubscher of the Los Alamos Space
Instrumentation and System Engineering Group, “With the discovery of
carbon nanotubes and their remarkable strength properties, the time
for the space elevator is at hand.”

“The promise of inexpensive access to space is so important to the
human race that we are ready to meet these challenges head on. Viewed
in one way, the space elevator will be the largest civil engineering
project ever attempted,” Laubscher said.

For online information, visit
http://www.isr.us/spaceelevatorconference. The conference is being
held at the Santa Fe Radisson, beginning Sept. 12 with an evening
reception and concluding Sept. 15. Media representatives are welcome
to attend. Speakers at the conference will provide a historical
perspective of the space elevator and its promise for future space
activity. Facilitators will outline each area of technical challenge
and discussion of solutions is encouraged through audience

“The team that works out the technological solutions will encompass
government and industry and represent a new level of teamwork not
seen since the days of NASA’s Apollo program,” said Laubscher.

“It sounds a little far out at first, but with materials science
advances such as nanotubes and other new materials, we are reaching
the stage where this starts to look like real science, a real advance
for space transport. And with the Los Alamos experience in both space
and material science, it’s a great opportunity for teamwork.”

The space elevator is a revolutionary way of getting from Earth into
space, a ribbon with one end attached to Earth on a floating platform
located at the equator and the other end in space beyond
geosynchronous orbit (35,800 km altitude).

The space elevator will potentially ferry satellites, spaceships and
pieces of space stations into space using electric lifts clamped to
the ribbon, serving as a means for commerce, scientific advancement
and exploration.

“In direct analogy with the Transcontinental Railroad, in which
construction began as soon as the last routes through the California
mountains were scouted, I hope that the space elevator is begun as
soon as the 100,000-km ribbon can be manufactured,” said Laubscher.

“In order to be ready with the required technologies, those
scientists and engineers interested in the space elevator must begin
now to identify and solve the technical challenges involved in
constructing and operating a space elevator. The Second Annual
Space-Elevator Conference is being held to discuss these challenges
and their solutions.”

NASA’s Institute for Advanced Concepts (NIAC) granted funds to Dr.
Bradley Edwards, ISR’s director of research, to investigate the
feasibility of designing and building a space elevator. Once
relegated to the realm of science fiction, the space elevator is now
the subject of scientific research by ISR. The discovery of carbon
nanotubes and the ongoing development to implement them into a
composite is the key to space elevator viability being achieved in
the future.

Researchers estimate that a space elevator capable of lifting 5-ton
payloads every day to low Earth orbits could be operational in 15
years. From this first orbit, the costs to go on the moon, Mars,
Venus, or the asteroids would be reduced dramatically. The first
space elevator is projected to reduce lift costs immediately to $100
per pound, as compared to current launch costs of $10,000-$40,000 per
pound, depending upon destination and choice of rocket-launch system.
Additional and larger elevators, built utilizing the first, would
allow large-scale manned and commercial activities in space and
reduce lift costs even further.

The Institute for Scientific Research, Inc. specializes in research
and advanced development, providing multidisciplinary solutions to
the leading-edge technology problems of its government and commercial
clients. The organization offers an environment for cultivating fresh
ideas and scientific discoveries from among a distinguished staff of
scientists, engineers, mathematicians, and support personnel. ISR is
headquartered in Fairmont, West Virginia. For complete information,
visit http://www.isr.us .

Los Alamos National Laboratory is operated by the University of
California for the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) of
the U.S. Department of Energy and works in partnership with NNSA’s
Sandia and Lawrence Livermore national laboratories to support NNSA
in its mission.

Los Alamos develops and applies science and technology to ensure the
safety and reliability of the U.S. nuclear deterrent; reduce the
threat of weapons of mass destruction, proliferation and terrorism;
and solve national problems in defense, energy, environment and