It’s Space Elevator research! Smart robots climbing 2 km straight up. The Ribbon is held aloft by large helium balloons.
Campaign Conclusion & More Information
For further information about Earth’s Space Elevator, LiftPort Group’s Tethered Tower system or the Lunar Space Elevator Infrastructure, please visit us at www.LiftPort.com . While you’re there, please stop by our forums – ask or answer a question!
You might also want to look over LiftPort in the media; a long list of links can be found here.
This campaign ended on the 50th Anniversary of President Kennedy's famous Moon Speech. I encourage to listen to all of it, but if you're pressed for time, listen at either 9min or 5min. You'll be glad you did - it sets the tone for everything else about this campaign.
What can I say? You are incredible! I am sincerely grateful to our community of supporters; we would – literally – not be here if it were not for your efforts and conviction. Thank you!
My final thanks go to my dedicated, talented, brilliant, amazing, tireless, enthusiastic, creative, cheerful (even when I’m yelling at them) team. Nothing – and I want to stress this – NOTHING would happen without the support of the folks behind me. I count myself lucky beyond measure.
There’s lots of talk these days about ‘crowdsourcing’; and I get it. But I’d like to alter that slightly and talk about ‘community sourcing’. Because you folks might have started out as an impersonal and disconnected and anonymous ‘crowd’, but over the past three weeks, I think you have connected into an amorphous community. I’m certain as we move to the next phase, that this connection will solidify!
So once this community connects further, we will ask for your direct participation. We are looking to the community to supply:
• Braincells (It’s gonna take a lot of people a lot smarter than me, to actually build this thing!)
• Equipment, (Everything from CNC’d parts, to laser-cutters!)
• Couches (I travel a lot, and hotels add up! Besides meeting you folks is fun!)
• Money (Purchased goods and services, to keep the coffers full)
• Research (We have 1000 questions that need answers)
• Labor (“Grunt” and specialized. I’m a former US Marine, I know that no project moves forward without grunts. It might not be pretty, or glamorous or well paid, but it’s important!)
I look forward to working with you!
Michael J. Laine
President, LiftPort Group
12 September 2012.
“LiftPort is a ‘…before this decade is out…’ Lunar Elevator Company!”
The ORIGINAL CAMPAIGN follows:
Who is LiftPort Group?
IMPORTANT: We have a lot of rewards – on purpose – because we have a complex new project and a 10 year legacy (and fan support) for the old project. We’re trying to satisfy folks that are interested in each aspect – near- mid- and long-term elements of building the Space Elevator. Also, we’ve created a lot of rewards (14) under $51 – that’s more than some Kickstarter campaigns use as their complete rewards list. We did this on purpose, too.
Please scan our reward levels, even if you can’t afford to commit at the higher price points. We’re doing some pretty interesting stuff we’d like you to know about; some of which is only described in the rewards list.
Maybe you know someone at work, or school, or a relative, that might want to get involved? We’d appreciate their support as well as yours.
Have you heard of a project called the “Space Elevator”? I hope so. If not, please look it up. If you’re aware of it, at all, in any capacity other than old Science Fiction, then it is a safe bet that my talented team at LiftPort was somewhere in the background. You see, we’ve been catalyzing and coordinating the commercial development of the Space Elevator for over nine years. I was personally involved with NASA’s 2001-2003 definitive research study. My company, LiftPort, grew out of the results of that study. Between 2003-2005 we researched Carbon NanoTubes (the strongest material in the world) – and we were not very good at it...
However between 2004-2007 we got really good at building robots that climb into the sky. (More on that in a moment.) At our height we had about 60 university research partners, and somewhere between 800-1000 volunteers working on different aspects of the project. But then, in 2007, when the economy crashed, LiftPort got crushed. (Video at 3:15) We closed the company and our team went into hibernation. And now it is time to awaken!
This Kickstarter campaign marks the public return of LiftPort Group!
Where We’re Headed
Earth’s Space Elevator
- A Long Way Off
Ultimately where we are headed is – as my friend often repeats – “to get off this rock”. (3rd video, at 3:10) Ultimately, we are going to build an Elevator that climbs into the sky… an Elevator that takes humanity from “this rock”, en masse, to space! But that is a long way off. Perhaps 20-25 years. Before that happens there are some vital interim steps.
- Technology Derived From this Research
Everyone reading this message – using a computer over the Internet – in one way or another is a descendant of the Apollo era. We have all had our lives made better by the advanced technology that is created – all the time – as a by-product of going to space. At LiftPort, we hope to do the same thing; to make living on Earth better, by going to space. We call ourselves an “Idea Factory” because the breakthroughs that we need for our beloved Elevator will also have practical ‘down-to-Earth’ applications – just like Apollo did.
Our (brand new) website has tons of resources for you to review: technical documents, images of our team building the future, and lots of other stuff. Whether you choose to support our campaign or not, we’d love to have your participation on the site: www.liftport.com. Or join as a member, and get involved in the conversation, add to the wiki or simply ask questions.
Lunar Space Elevator Infrastructure
Feasibility Study - This is Where We're Going
Before we can build Earth’s Elevator, we’ll need to build one on the Moon. It is significantly easier, and much much cheaper. Importantly - we can build it with current technology – in about eight years.
To meet our target date, we need to complete a 1-year Feasibility Study, beginning next year. That will cost $3M. I don’t expect to raise that through this Kickstarter campaign. But I’m throwing it out there so you know what’s ahead for this program. (But if you’re feeling generous – surprise me! All kidding aside, if you think the rewards we’ve got for Kickstarter are good, you should talk to us about the ‘rewards’ if you fund our Study!)
This Lunar Elevator is a new effort. It is part of LiftPort's revival program. This system can be built now, while Earth’s Elevator requires several more breakthroughs. We think we should focus on building this Lunar Space Elevator Infrastructure (LSEI or “Elsie”) as a prerequisite to the main goal.
- How Relevant?
So if the Lunar Elevator is a precursor technology to Earth’s Elevator, then our proposed Kickstarter campaign of Tethered Towers is a precursor to the Lunar Elevator.
That’s where you come in!
- What we want to do is:
- Build a robot that can climb 2 kilometers straight up.
- Build a test platform of high-altitude balloons - tethered to the ground.
- Our Robot (which you can NAME) will climb the test platform – and set a world record.
- Let the world know that we didn’t quit, give up, or fail… we just had to ‘pause’ for a while.
- Rebuild our connection with the global community of supporters.
- Raise a little money to cover the cost of this specific experiment.
In the spirit of full disclosure, my team already climbed 1 mile, 6 years ago. At 2 kilometers, this proposed experiment is only a quarter mile farther… But most of my team at LiftPort 2.0 are new. The folks from LiftPort 1.0 moved on to other projects. I’m bringing in several of the experienced guys to help transfer knowledge to our new team. We’re ‘passing the torch’ if you will. This is a critical milestone in our development as an organization.
Once we’ve done that, the new team can reach ever higher. (See our Stretch Goals at the bottom of the page.)
I wanted our Group to hit a new altitude record, right out of the gate. But I didn’t want to push the team too far. I feel confident that we can achieve this goal. Afterwards, an altitude of 3-5 km is reachable. It becomes substantially more difficult with greater altitude. Cold is a real problem: lubricants freeze, motors seize and materials become brittle, fast. Depending on our starting location, its base altitude, time of year, and cumulative altitude, temperatures can easily drop into double-digit negative numbers… and robots don’t like that. Add in weather effects and things get complicated, fast.
So the plan is to first build the ‘bot, then an indoor test rig. Imagine a vertical treadmill; our little robot can climb and climb and climb, and still get nowhere. (Do ya feel like that some days?) Once we’re satisfied with its performance, then we build out the Tethered Towers test platform of helium balloons held to the ground with a Ribbon. We can pre-test this up to 200ft without causing a ruckus at the Federal Aviation Administration. Any further, and we need airspace clearances from the FAA, Air Force and Navy. We’ve done this 14 times, so we are not worried about that aspect. Once the regulators give us the dates, locations and clear skies, then we aim for the record books... a (temporary) man-made structure that is 2km tall – and a robot that can climb it!
- Communication / Observation
Beyond its usefulness as a Space Elevator test platform and an interesting experiment, does this system have any practical value in the real world?
We’re glad you asked that. The answer is yes! Radio frequency communications are all based on ‘line-of-sight’. Which means the farther you can see, the farther you can communicate (within the limits of sending and receiving power). That is why cell towers and TV broadcast towers are constructed on hills, mountains and tall buildings. Every vertical foot matters. The system we’ve designed can be used for communications in remote villages, to monitor crops for efficient harvesting, early warning for forest fires, perimeter security or to provide wireless internet to a campus. (Did you see the “Kony 2012” videos? I’ve just started an email conversation about how we might provide an early warning system to those in need.)
- Emergency Support System
During a natural disaster, communication infrastructures are overwhelmed. The people that need comms’ the most – aid workers – don’t have it. But our system can be deployed in 2 hours from the time our boots hit the ground. Speed matters. We think we can save lives. We can use our ‘eye in the sky’ to provided camera support, to scan through infrared and detect human heat signatures in the rubble – and connect the nearest responder to the nearest victim. Tethered Towers can provided vital support to the brave folks trying to help.
- For the Fun of It
Finally, perhaps we can raise your adrenaline level? What if you could use our balloons and robot to calmly, gently and quietly float into the sky, and then parachute jump from the top? Every time we’ve conducted an experiment with our Tethered Towers, we’ve gotten emails from folks that wanted to jump…
Why "only" $8000?
We’ve gotten critiques from our friends that “we’re not asking for enough…” The (usually unspoken) implication being that “if you’re really serious about building an Elevator on the Moon, why are you only asking for $8,000?”
We made this financial decision for a reason. Sure, there are many things we can do (will do) that will take a lot more cash… But that’s not the point of this – specific – campaign. The goal of this Kickstarter event is to rebuild our community. We will launch another campaign; and another, and another and another. Over time, after some successes and after we’ve rebuilt trust that our company can do what it says it can do, we’ll raise our financial targets.
I realize that the point of most Kickstarter projects is to raise money. Trust me, I get it. And I do want you to commit cash to our campaign. Let me restate that – I want to trade your capital for our goods and services. This is not a ‘donation’, but a transaction. I think that sometimes people misunderstand what Kickstarter is all about.
I did some pretty deep analysis on the top 39 Kickstarter campaigns. (Ask me about this.) I looked at the top three campaigns over Kickstarter’s 13 categories. One detail I learned is this: that 2/3rds of the folks that contribute to a campaign give less than $51 and that that total only amounts to 12% of the funds raised. What this tells me, is that while the media and hype points toward Kickstarter as being a fundraising tool – Kickstarter’s most important value lies in coordinating and confirming a community of supporters.
And that’s what we need now. We need you!
We feel it is much more important to re-connect with our supporters. We’ve been out of business for 5 years – but we didn’t quit! We’re using this (first!) Kickstarter campaign to let people know that we’re back and we’ve got a new and better plan.
As for the cost of our experiment, my team is volunteering so labor is not a factor (yet). We’re really just talking about purchasing new hardware for the system. We already know how to build the robot – this will be our 20th. We already know how to build the Tethered Tower – this will be our 15th. But all of our equipment is 5+ years old and both for safety reasons and because technology has advanced, we think it’s important to start fresh. Also, because I’m trying to do a ‘brain-dump’ from the LiftPort 1.0 team to the LiftPort 2.0 team, I want the 2.0 team to get their hands dirty building stuff.
We are going to have multiple Kickstarter campaigns. In the future, we’re going to raise more money for specific programs – sub-projects that are within the scope of the penultimate goal: an Elevator in the Sky! But for the first experiment since our recent restart, I felt it was better to not target ‘cash’; but to target ‘community’ instead. I’m certain the financial support will come… but I missed you guys. Really. And no, I don’t expect to raise $800M for the Lunar Elevator through Kickstarter, but if we raised the $3M for the Feasibility Study I’d probably lose my mind!
There is a time and place to ask for a lot of money, but this first Kickstarter campaign isn’t it. Still, I’d be very grateful of we went substantially over our Kickstarter minimum. I hope we do.
What We’re Doing for this Campaign
What We'll Do - For as Long as it Takes
- So what will we do with the money?
This is not a very expensive experiment; that’s why we chose it first. To push an analogy too far – It’s low-hanging fruit; but it’s the tree we’re after! So it seemed like a good place to start. It is hardware focused and that’s very important to our team. It’s achievable within our current resources of people and time.
The robot is time consuming and somewhat complicated. There have been advancements in all sorts of relevant technologies in the past five years. Motors are lighter and stronger, batteries perform better, and computing and communications are much much simpler. To put that in perspective, we used to have to build our radios and computer boards from scratch, and hope they worked. Now, we can simply order them from a parts catalog! In contrast, the Tethered Tower balloon test platform has not changed much. She’s still a temperamental little beastie… But so long as the weather cooperates, I’m not anticipating any serious problems with that infrastructure.
Specifically, we’ll build a robot, and climb a string into the sky. We’ll reach as high as we can, safely, and collect all sorts of data. If we raise more, we’ll do more. If we go beyond our $8000 goal, we can add all sorts of stuff. I’ve detailed that in our Stretch Goals below.
Long-term, we’ll use results from our first experiment to build a better ‘bot; a better Tethered Tower. And we’ll climb higher. We will do this until we reach the limit of what can be achieved here on Earth: ~ 30 kilometers/100,000ft. Once we’ve got altitude, we’ll combine that with long-term endurance, starting with 6 hours, then 24, then a week, a month, a year, and then finally 2 years. Once we’ve got that, we’ll make the top “human rated” because our robot Lifters will need a tested life support system, or else what’s the point of all this…?
Are we going to do all that on $8000 from this Kickstarter campaign? No. But I include it here because I want you to see where we’re going. This stepped approach was laid out in our technical roadmap in 2004 and we stand by it. If we only reach our $8000 goal, then we’ll only do one part of this plan. If we raise more, we’ll do more. See our Stretch Goals.
- More Sensors: Telemetry is the key to climbing higher. Knowing the kinds of conditions our little-‘bot-that-could’ is climbing through, is vital. At the $8,000 level, that is a bare-bones system. If we stretch to $20k, then we can install a much improved sensor suite. Sensors will likely include things like GPS, a full package of weather monitors like temperature, wind, humidity, and placement of sensors on vital elements of the robot – wheels, motors, Ribbon guides. And we’ll improve the communications network, too. This might seem pretty dull, and an uninspired first “stretch”, but it is essential knowledge if we want to climb farther.
- Higher: With the improved sensors, we’ll have a better handle on the environmental factors we are facing. With that knowledge – we’ll climb higher. It will depend on the results of the first test, and what the sensors tell us, but I presume that we should be able to climb to at least 3-5km.
- Web Video: I’m especially excited about this part. I think we can provide a live video feed from the ‘bots-eye-view’! Take a trip with us – from the comfort of your computer monitor – as we break new ground. Imagine the view from 3-5km high. Is that much different from being in an airplane? Yup. 360 degree visibility.
- Higher: This will require a new robot. If we surpass the 3-5km mark we’re in unknown territory. Exciting right? We’ll need thermal protections, interior heating, and a different communications configuration. Something’s bound to break. We know our balloons are not made for this, so we’ll have to figure something out. We call that ‘science’.
- Longer: (Subject to FAA approvals) We’ll aim for “longer”. Honestly I can’t really tell you what that means; not until we run the first test. But whatever we get for the first one, we’ll try to double that. It will probably be for just 6-12 hours. We’ve stayed up as long as 60 days, but that was at a stable 200ft. It’s a completely different problem when it’s at higher altitudes.
- Web-Controlled Camera: Remember the camera? How about an upgrade? What about a web-controlled Pan/Zoom/Tilt, that our community of supporters can manipulate?
- Even Higher: What does this mean? I have no idea. I can’t even guess. But at this point, we’re transitioning the problem of ‘altitude’ to that of ‘endurance’. It’s a trade-off. While altitude is more important for the robot and the end-goal of the Space Elevator, endurance is more important for the life-saving applications of Tethered Towers.
- Even Longer: Before our company crashed, we were in talks with the FAA to redefine what a “tower” meant… If we’re aloft for very long, we’ll have to re-open those conversations. You see, a normal tower is a rigid structure, and they are clearly labeled for pilots. They stay in one place… And there is a column of restricted airspace. However our Tethered Towers are flexible. The move with wind... We need to cordon off a ‘bubble’ of airspace, instead of a column. If we hit the 24 hour mark, we’ll need blinking lights and radio equipment to warn aircraft. It would be ‘bad’ if a plane flew into it. That’s why we get approvals from the FAA, Air Force and Navy for an experimental system. They keep our skies clear.
- Series: At this point, it stops being about a single experiment, and becomes a complete series of independent experiments – each with their own goals and achievements. At this point, LiftPort Group is back in business for real; doing what we should be doing – building an Elevator to Space. At this level, everything changes. We transform from being an ad hoc collection of volunteers with a vision – into a cohesive team with a plan. The series will be a set of experiments along the continuum of altitude and endurance. Kickstarter enforces a minimum threshold for a project, because of its ‘all or nothing’ model. And we can absolutely run our initial experiment for the amount we budgeted. But this is really the target I want to hit. If we ‘only’ hit $8001, then we are going to remain a ‘hobby’ team. If we can hit this number, then LiftPort is a “…before this decade is out…” Lunar Elevator company!
- Edge of Space: It’s a misnomer that I’m reluctant to extend, but the limit of balloon technology is about 20 miles high, whereas the ‘edge of space’ is about 60 miles. For whatever reason several balloon experiments talk about reaching the ‘edge of space’. I disagree with the terminology, but bow to convention. However you define it, we’ll reach for the practical limits and aim for ~100,000ft (30km). We’ll stay there as long as we can. We’ll have our webcam running and you should be able to see the blackness of space, perhaps some stars, the curve of the Earth, and a helluva view – straight down. We’ll have to do this somewhere off the East coast; perhaps on a boat. (Winds blow from West to East in America). That way the Tethered Tower is out over the ocean, away from air traffic. We’ll keep this system in place as long as we can… and we’ll test it to its literal breaking point. We’ll do our best to recover the system, but it’s unlikely.
- Life Support: Look, eventually we’re going to space… to the Moon. It would probably be a good idea if we had some basic understanding of what it takes to keep a person alive, right? O.k., that’s not going to happen on $500k, but we can do basic tests like plants and such. (No, PETA folks, we’re not sending up a kitten or monkey to freeze to death.) Since cold and oxygen will be our biggest problems we’ll want to ensure that we have lots of sensors, heaters, and thermal insulation. Perhaps we’ll test this on some tropical flowers that will wilt/freeze if we get this stuff wrong.
- Feasibility Study: Obviously, we’re pretty sure this plan of ours is ‘feasible’. But there is a lot that we don’t yet know. I spent more than a decade working on the Space Elevator, but we’ve only been working on the Lunar system for about 10 months… I’m often quoted as saying: “We don’t even have all the questions, yet, let alone all the answers.” If that is true of Earth’s Elevator, it is especially true with the Lunar Space Elevator Infrastructure. To that end, we need to gather (back together) a group of some of the smartest folks I’ve ever encountered – the team of world-class experts that form the core of the Elevator community. We need to assign problems, and give them time to work on this stuff. At the end of a year, we’ll finish with a set of three deliverables:
- Go/No Go Decision – Build it or don’t build it (there is no ‘try’!)
- Library – ~500 Independent Research Projects, and ~1500 Technical Documents reviewed and assembled. This is the documentation, and results of the questions we need to answer - before we proceed with the Lunar Elevator.
- Path Forward – Specific Plan on how to build the Lunar Space Elevator Infrastructure or a Detailed Analysis on how to get to the point where it’s possible – if there is still required technology development.
Here's some other resources we thought you might be interested in:
International Space Elevator Conference kicks off in Seattle this weekend.
MoonAndBack has a nice set of video interviews with me. The second video specifically talks about this Kickstarter effort.
Finally, my sincere thanks for your interest in what we are doing!
Below is my response to someone's question. I've edited out the name.
Thanks for asking and thanks for your interest in what we're doing.
I DO have pictures, but I need to check with the folks I made the rings for, before I can show them. I'm pretty sure they will be fine with it. but I can describe them a little here. First, the ring is an allow made primarily of silver. But with the CNT added, it becomes a 'dark silver'. It's a little hard to describe. The CNT 'does something' (we honestly don't know what, yet, we still need to research this) to the silver and it 'crystallizes', but this can only be seen in the production process. It shines up just like silver - but I'm told by the bride and groom that it NEVER tarnishes after 9 months of wear. We don't know why that is, either.
The rings I created has tiny tiny sapphires and these were placed in the pattern of his and her constellations. The major 'stars' were gemstones, the minor stars were drilled, and CNT stuffed it, so that these 'stars' were jet black. In my humble opinion I was damn impressed!
So what 'won't work'? Filigrees and really really tight curls in the metal. Thin metal elements become really tricky. This stuff is not easy to work with. I had to recast these rings about 8 times before we got it to work.
I'll be at the SE conference all weekend, so I can't tackle reaching out to the husband and wife until Tuesday - please be patient. I hope that answers your question. If not, send me more.
It was an honor and privileged to create these for the couple, and I'd be happy to do the same for you. I even flew to their wedding and was the 'ring bearer'. It was a lot of fun!
Below is my response to someone's question. I've edited out the name.
"Hi Michael, if I want to jump off the top of your tower (the $500 reward), can you tell me where it will be physically located? I'd need to actually get there! And if I go and make the trip, can I do anything else (like be shown around and see stuff) or is it just the jump itself?"
Most of this answer depends on 2 factors: When we finish the robot build and test, (which determines the weather in the Seattle region) and where the FAA has clear airspace. These are my thoughts, right now; but they are subject to change.
We are building this 'bot in Seattle. Logistically it is cheaper and faster for us to do our test on the other side of the mountains, in Eastern Washington. But the weather turns bad on us in late Sept/Oct. If the 'bot is more challenging that we expect, that will complicate everything. If we get pushed into Oct, then we are probably going to have to do the test down south, perhaps around Phoenix. Of our 14 tests, 11:14 were in the Seattle region. 2 were in Utah (at the Mars Desert Research Station). That would be my preferred default. The other location was Phoenix. Regardless of the specific location, I assure you it will be on the West Coast somewhere. (I realize that if you are in Europe, that answer is helpful, but if you are in San Francisco, that answer is pointless.)
As for you 'doing stuff', heck ya - we'll probably put you to work! Doing this stuff is labor intensive - Look at these links. http://www.flickr.com/photos/space_elevator/sets/72157600297680739/ and http://www.flickr.com/photos/space_elevator/sets/72157600272731054/ Depending on when you arrive, we can grab dinner with the team the night before, because it will be an early-morning (4am!) start. We'll show ya our labs, a little hands-on time with our beloved 'bot, and stuff like that. So ya, there's stuff for you to do. You won't be standing around, I promise.
Finally here's an IMPORTANT DETAIL - we want to ensure you're happy with your pledge. If you can't manage the logistics - for whatever reason - we'll refund every dollar.
Here's a second message, with a different question. So I'm adding my response here:
We will be GLAD to refund your money.... under any circumstances - timing, location, fear (you suddenly become sane and decide that this is crazy - kidding!) What ever the reason, we'll refund you.
As for paying once everything is ready, yes, now that we're fully funded, we don't NEED your money right now. But it would help, a lot, so I'd appreciate it if you can pledge now. When we're ready (sometime in the Fall) we should be able to announce it and bring folks together for that. I'm not certain of that, but we probably can.
Finally, altitude? We're aiming for 2km with this test. If we reach our Stretch Goals, we might reach higher. But that's what we're aiming for as a minimum.
It would be great to have you - several of ya'll are gonna make history.
Thanks for your question. You're right I didn't post it (I forgot). So yesterday I posted an update, which linked to my blog. Here's the 'long answer'. http://liftport.com/blog/_/2-0-business/2-2-finance-accounting/kickstarter-day-2-kplu-interview-day-0-of-s-r1266
Short answer is 'let your conscience be your guide'. Read my blog for more details on that.
Thank you for your support and concern for this shipping cost. Much appreciated.
Michael, I did not see any information about international shipping costs. I backed your project for $8, should I add something to,cover the shipping costs?
Succes with the project!
Below is my response to someone's question. I've edited out the name.
I have a question about the jewelry reward--will it be recognizably space-elevator-themed? I like the idea of jewelry, but I want to have some sort of wearable item that visibly promotes this project.
You pose an interesting question.
We had ASSUMED that this would be subtle/non-obvious. We made up a piece that looked interesting. We had in mind that it would be a thread that was 'gold-ish', called Zylon. It's shiny and pretty and crazy-strong. With that, we'd have some subtle beads with the LiftPort colors: off-white, blue-so-dark-it's-almost-black and a dark red from this palette: http://www.colourlovers.com/palette/2305827/Going_to_the_Moon!
But that sounds like exactly what you DON'T want, right?
We had imagined it as somewhat similar to an "Livestrong Yellow" wrist band. Something that says you belong to a team... Subtle but making a statement. (And much classier than that wrist band; something you can wear on an evening out.)
So you tell us - you're the customer. Should we design 2 - one subtle and one obvious? And give people choices?.
Thanks for your interest in what we're doing,
It's a card, (like a greeting card, in an envelope). We'll give you choices of blank or with a note from our team (and a short description of what the image is). Also, we'll give you choices of which image - balloons+robots, lunar elevator or space elevator. Yes, we'll mail them individually - but we'll also give you the option to buy a bunch! We think some of you folks might be interested in using them as holiday cards or birthday cards. So, once the campaign ends, we'll send out a survey to see what everyone wants. Take care, mjl
pledged of $8,000 goal
seconds to go
Aug 23, 2012 - Sep 13, 2012 (21 days)
Pledge $1 or more
FRIEND OF LIFTPORT: What do ya get for a dollar these days? Newsletter emails about the project. Links to behind-the-scenes images, and technical reports. FRIEND badge designation on our blog, wiki and forum. “Insider” status and progress reports on what we're doing. We’ll provide you with a special “Kickstarter only” email address that you can use to write to us. You’ll feel satisfied - knowing that you’re helping to change the world – and the Moon, and Mars, and eventually the whole solar system. AND you’ll know that, ultimately, you are contributing to humanity’s diaspora to the stars! AND Every single person that contributes will have their name laser inscribed on the robot. AND we’ll keep this list, so that when we build our Lunar Elevator, we’ll put your name on that ‘bot too… Not bad for a buck, huh? PLUS Our sincere thanks and appreciation.Estimated delivery: Sep 2012
Pledge $3 or more
GREETING CARD: We will send you a custom card. We’ll send you a survey of image choices; some will be focused on Earth’s Space Elevator, some on the Lunar Elevator, and some on life-saving aspects of the Tethered Tower. Order as many as you like, and send them to your ‘cool’ friends for holidays and birthdays. PLUS everything at the FRIEND level.Estimated delivery: Oct 2012
Pledge $5 or more
RIBBON: Same custom card as above… PLUS, attached to each card will be a 3cm snippet of the (potentially record-breaking) Ribbon that we use to climb into the sky! When ‘they’ build the museum about the Space Elevator, this will be a collector’s item. I’ll sign and number these cards. PLUS everything at the FRIEND and GREETING CARD level.Estimated delivery: Nov 2012
Pledge $8 or more
CARD CARRYING SUPPORTER: Personally, of all the rewards we are offering, this is the one I most want you to buy. (Of course, if you are reasonably well off, please buy the more expensive rewards; you’ll get this included!) But seriously, for most of you, I think this is your best value for the money. So what do you get? Well for starters, you’ll get a special laminated wallet-sized card (We’ll give you choices on the image). You can carry this around as proof that you’re helping do something amazing: Shifting the course of civilization, unleashing humanity from the tyranny of gravity and building an Elevator in Space! This card is so awesome that your friends will be jealous. These cards will be signed and numbered to limit counterfeiting! PLUS you’ll get a “KS Supporter” designation on our website forums and wiki. The only way to get that badge is through Kickstarter, and trust me, you’ll want this. PLUS the most important part of this reward level is that there is a MYSTERY SURPRISE. I promise, you will really like the MYSTERY SURPRISE. PLUS you’ll get the stuff at the FRIEND, GREETING CARD and RIBBON levels.Estimated delivery: Nov 2012
Pledge $9 or more
FRIENDSHIP BRACELET: This unisex bracelet is classy and tasteful. It is comfortable to wear. It may or may not start a conversation (we hope it does) but it is a regular reminder that you are a part of something important. The first step, Tethered Towers will help with disaster relief, the next step of the Lunar Elevator will allow a permanent research station and settlement of our nearest neighbor, and the final step is when Earth’s Space Elevator leads humanity’s diaspora to the stars… This bracelet (handmade by our team) signifies all of that. It’s made of the same high-strength material that we will build our Tethered Towers and the Lunar Elevator out of. PLUS, you’ll get the FRIEND, RIBBON and GREETING CARD rewards. (Also, please consider the NECKLACE reward below.)Estimated delivery: Nov 2012
Pledge $12 or more
ART PRINT: Why ‘art’ for an advanced technology project? NASA and the Department of Education have a metric for what they refer to as STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math). At LiftPort we modified this to STEAM; adding in “Art”. We feel that art inspires, and sparks the imagination. We think that the arts bridge the gap between the folks that do STEM and everyone else. Art is a translator of sorts. We’ll give you an ART PRINT from our archives. Your choice of images. Themes will revolve around Earth’s Elevator, the Lunar Elevator or Tethered Towers. Initially, the size will be 5x7, high-quality and worthy of framing on the wall. If this proves to be a popular reward, we will increase the size. PLUS, you get the rewards at the FRIEND level. (Possible examples can be seen here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/space_elevator/sets/72157611636812783/. This is my personal Flickr account, please ignore images of my grandmother, birds and ex-girlfriends. But there are LOTS of images of our team at work, building robots, robots climbing into the sky and other artwork.)Estimated delivery: Nov 2012
Pledge $15 or more
GROUP TALK: With the Space Elevator people. We’ll schedule a 2 hour chat, or video hangout, or conference call and talk about various aspects of the projects. We can talk about whatever you want: If this reward is popular, we’ll work it out so that we have multiple events and limit the number of people – so that you can really participate. We’ll send a survey to determine the best method, date and technology to work with you. Many options will be available. We’ll talk politics, religion, international policy, law and what might happen when we build it. We can talk about nanotechnology, too. We’ll schedule talks about each Elevator and Tethered Towers. PLUS You'll get the FRIEND, GREETING CARD and RIBBON level rewards.Estimated delivery: Sep 2012
Pledge $20 or more
NECKLACE: Similar to the FRIENDSHIP BRACELET above, but longer and you wear it around your neck… ;-) This is your public statement that you believe in something big. We think these are attractive and something you’ll want to wear – whether you tell people you are involved with building “the biggest thing, ever”; well, that’s up to you. PLUS everything at the FRIENDS, GREETING CARD, and RIBBON levels. (Also, please consider the COMPLETE SET below. Or if you’d like the NECKLACE + BRACELET, we can take care of that with a survey after this KickStarter campaign ends.)Estimated delivery: Sep 2012
Pledge $25 or more
MEDIUM ART PRINT: Same as at the $10 level, but a bigger print, on better paper and exclusive. It will be about 11x14 and we’ll design it as a limited edition print run for this KickStarter campaign only. At the $10 level, those are all (mostly) images that are about 5 years old or more. They’ve been around the internet for a long time… At this reward level, we will craft something entirely new and restrict its distribution. We’ll send a survey and let you choose which topic you are most interested in: Earth’s Elevator, the Moon Elevator or Tethered Towers. PLUS everything at the FRIENDS, GREETING CARD, and RIBBON levels.Estimated delivery: Oct 2012
Pledge $35 or more
COMPLETE SET: The BRACELET and the NECKLACE and a matching pair of earrings. You’ll be the envy of your fashionista friends and gamer geeks… (O.k. that’s a stupid description… The sad, simple truth is this: there are not enough women involved or interested in this project. For this project to succeed, we must have a better boy:girl ratio. So I tasked my team to find some reward that would specifically appeal to women. The women on my team said they wanted jewelry… They said they wanted something that they could wear often – that would show their support. So we priced this ‘low’ and made it as versatile as possible. I’m told that the colors should accent your wardrobe. PLUS everything at the BRACELET, NECKLACE, CARD CARRYING SUPPORTER, FRIENDS, GREETING CARD, and RIBBON levels.Estimated delivery: Oct 2012
Pledge $35 or more
T-SHIRT: Honestly, is a geek-centric Kickstarter campaign complete without the obligatory t-shirt? I wear mine whenever I travel and people ask me about the project wherever I go. Warning: If you don’t want an open invitation to talk to strangers, don’t purchase this reward. We’re planning new designs, so I can’t give you examples. We’ll have choices between Tethered Towers, The Lunar Space Elevator Infrastructure and our much loved Earth’s Elevator. PLUS everything at the CARD CARRYING SUPPORTER, FRIENDS, GREETING CARD, and RIBBON levelsEstimated delivery: Nov 2012
Pledge $40 or more
MEET-UP: In a sincere effort to reengage our community, I’d like to shake hands and drink beer with you. What I’d like, is to travel to your city. To do that, we’ve got to cover airplanes, food, hotels and other logistics. If we can organize ~25 people per city, we can do this. (If not, we’ll refund you.) I’m trying to do this cheap; so that I can meet as many folks as possible. Target cities include: Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Denver, Houston, Chicago, Atlanta, Washington DC, New York, and Boston. At the MEET-UP, I’ll give a short talk and long Q&A, and then we can commence with the beer! I’m happy to go to other places. I can also travel internationally. Dates will vary over the next year. PLUS everything at the CARD CARRYING SUPPORTER, FRIENDS, GREETING CARD, and RIBBON levels.Estimated delivery: Jan 2013
Pledge $50 or more
TRUE FAN: The combination of TSHIRT + GROUP TALK rewards above. These are our champions. They make the effort to know what’s happening with the project, and then they put a billboard on their chest – proclaiming their support. They understand that building an Elevator in Space will make the world a better place. PLUS everything at the T-SHIRT, GROUP TALK, CARD CARRYING SUPPORTER, FRIENDS, GREETING CARD, and RIBBON levels.Estimated delivery: Nov 2012
Pledge $50 or more
STREET TEAM: We are making a commitment to use Social Media as our primary outreach tool. We’d like your help. So what we’re proposing is this – you follow our SM accounts, and we’ll follow yours. If you’ve got something to say that is relevant to the Space Elevator or Tethered Towers community, we’ll rebroadcast. If we’ve got something that is relevant to your community, we ask that you broadcast our updates. This means that you learn everything about the project first! No one will have faster access to our progress reports. PLUS, we’ll have a conversation similar to the GROUP TALK above, but restricted only to the people that chose this reward. PLUS We’ll dedicate a page on our website and acknowledge our STREET TEAM publicly. PLUS the FRIEND, GREETING CARD, RIBBON, CARD CARRYING SUPPORTER, and GROUP TALK level rewards.Estimated delivery: Sep 2012
Pledge $75 or more
REALLY TRUE FAN: We’re bundling the GROUP TALK, T-SHIRT and MEDIUM ART PRINT just for you. PLUS you’ll still get the rewards at the CARD CARRYING SUPPORTER, RIBBON, GREETING CARD and FRIEND levels.Estimated delivery: Nov 2012
Pledge $100 or more
GET INVOLVED: Please, I’m asking you sincerely to put your money where your vision is. The group of people that commit to this level are important to me. (That’s not to imply that I don’t care about the other folks, but I’m honestly admitting that the people that commit at this level will have more of my attention.) Similar to the CARD CARRYING SUPPORTER above, this is my second favorite reward level. I hate to sound crass, but building an Elevator on the Moon will cost $800M. Do I expect to raise that all through KickStarter? Of course not. But it costs real money to do the things we need to, in order to build the “biggest thing ever”. So what’s your reward at this level? First, I wasn’t kidding. You will have my attention – Every month I’ll develop a survey and exclusively ask this community its opinion on something important. I will work with this community to create the policies and plans around building the Elevators. You will be our self-created focus group and I promise your opinions will be factored into how this Elevator develops. We will rely on you. For $100 dollars, it means your voice will be heard. From this community a few (you’ll pick among yourselves) will be raised to our formal Board of Advisors. What I’m looking for, at this reward level, is people that are willing to actively participate. So, is having my attention and having a voice in a project that will shift the course of humanity enough of a reward? I hope so. If not, I have a different MYSTERY SURPRISE II for you. Is it worth the difference between $8 and $100? Yes it is. We’ll create three teams; focused on each Elevator and Tethered Towers. PLUS everything at the T-SHIRT, MEDIUM ART PRINT, GROUP TALK, CARD CARRYING SUPPORTER, GREETING CARD, RIBBON, and FRIEND, levels.Estimated delivery: Jan 2013
Pledge $100 or more
ADVERTISE YOUR SUPPORT: Simple commercialism. Show support of our project by advertising on our website. One thing I’m certain of is this – that the people interested in our project have a hopeful and enthusiastic vision of the future. They are technically savvy and engaged in the world. They think (rightly so) that they can make a difference. If this sounds like the kind of audience you’d like your product or service in front of, why not commit at this level. We’ll give you 10,000 views from people that want to change the world. (If this is interesting, and you’ve got more ad dollars to spend, take a look at the VIDEO CHANNEL at the $250 level. Also, at higher reward levels, we’ll maintain this rate of $.01/View.) PLUS the FRIEND, GREETING CARD, RIBBON , CARD CARRYING SUPPORTER, and CHAT level rewards.Estimated delivery: Sep 2012
Pledge $150 or more
EXCLUSIVE CHAT – Same as the $15 reward above, but with a much smaller crowd, and 2 sessions of 2 hours. This allows us to get into some depth and have a conversation. Who knows where this might lead? I hope that this will be interesting, educational, inspirational, and perhaps spark questions you’d never considered. PLUS everything at the GET INVOLVED, MEDIUM ART PRINT, CARD CARRYING SUPPORTER, GREETING CARD, RIBBON, and FRIEND, levels.Estimated delivery: Nov 2012
Pledge $250 or more
WALK ON PART: So for our big balloons + robots experiments, we’re gonna need some help. Actually, we need a couple spots – video, photography and a writer. There is stuff to do before, during and after the experiment so if you choose this, you’ll need to be available 4 days. The roles of each will be as a ‘historian’. You’ll capture the process, and post it to our social media accounts. You’ll have to handle the logistics of getting to and from the experiment site. Likely, this will be in the Seattle region, but we’ve had to go to Salt Lake City and Phoenix before. We’ll share the media rights to whatever is developed over these 4 days. If this proves to be a popular reward, we’ll hold auditions of some sort and offer other options for ‘walk on parts’. We’ll give full refunds if the assignment, timing and location don’t work for you. The experiment will likely take place in early to mid-October. PLUS you’ll get everything at the GET INVOLVED, ADVERTISE YOUR SUPPORT, MEDIUM ART PRINT, CARD CARRYING SUPPORTER, GREETING CARD, RIBBON, and FRIEND, levels.Estimated delivery: Oct 2012
Pledge $250 or more
VIDEO CHANNEL: We’re considering creating a video channel with our team of experts. We’ll talk space, materials science/nanotech, energy, robotics, computing, communications, space-centric bioscience, law, international policy, military and theological aspects of our technology, and a host of other topics. We will vary focus between the Earth and Moon Elevators and the Tethered Towers. We need a minimum of 30 sponsors for this to begin. We really want this to succeed, so everyone that buys a reward above this level will be included in this. What you’ll get is the warm and fuzzy feeling of helping educate (a lot of) people… You’ll also receive permanent website acknowledgement that you are the channel’s founding sponsors, and also 25,000 views of your sponsorship ad. If we don’t hit our threshold, we’ll refund whatever was pledged. PLUS you’ll get everything at the GET INVOLVED, ADVERTISE YOUR SUPPORT, MEDIUM ART PRINT, CARD CARRYING SUPPORTER, GREETING CARD, RIBBON, and FRIEND, levels.Estimated delivery: Jan 2013
Pledge $300 or more
EDUCATION KIT – LUNAR ELEVATOR: Designed for high school students. We will develop a set of curricula (meeting national educational standards) to teach students about a variety of topics. Using the Lunar Elevator as the central theme, we will explore math, chemistry, physics, communications, computing, biology, literature, sociology, law, finance, business, art, theology, nanotech/materials, energy systems and orbital dynamics. With this kit, we hope to inspire students and get them focused on their role in building something amazing. We plan to build our Elevator on the Moon in eight years – which means a high school student could become actively involved with the design, deployment and construction of the “biggest thing, ever!” CAVEAT: We need at least 5 people to support this level. If we reach that, each of you will be able to pick the school this KIT goes to. If we hit 25, you each get to pick 3 schools. If we hit 50, we’ll distribute it – for free – on our website; so every student can use this resource to make a difference in the world. Naturally, you'll get credit for this on our website, and in the support materials of the KIT. We’re working with a non-profit on this. You’ll get a receipt and a tax deduction. PLUS you’ll get all the rewards at the VIDEO CHANNEL, ADVERTISE YOUR SUPPORT, GET INVOLVED, MEDIUM ART PRINT, CARD CARRYING SUPPORTER, GREETING CARD, RIBBON, and FRIEND, levels.Estimated delivery: Sep 2012
Pledge $300 or more
EDUCATION KIT – EARTH’S ELEVATOR: Same as above, but the topic is focused on Earth’s Space Elevator. While the concepts covered might be the same, the lesson plan is completely different and the knowledge gained is also entirely different. For example, when I say “physics”, in the Lunar Elevator I’m referring to gravity; while on Earth’s Elevator I’m thinking of leverage, mass and celestial mechanics. Same CAVEAT as above. We’re working with a non-profit on this. You’ll get a receipt and a tax deduction. PLUS you’ll get all the rewards at the VIDEO CHANNEL, GET INVOLVED, ADVERTISE YOUR SUPPORT, MEDIUM ART PRINT, CARD CARRYING SUPPORTER, GREETING CARD, RIBBON, and FRIEND, levels.Estimated delivery: Sep 2012
Pledge $300 or more
EDUCATION KIT – TETHERED TOWERS: Designed for high school students or early college. Complete kit of balloons, Ribbon, and other equipment sufficient to build a communications and observation tower off your high school. We’ll provide a curriculum and instructions to the teacher, and an educational wiki that the students can (should!) contribute to. Students will learn about chemistry, weather, physics, electronics and communications. This is not a toy. This is real science. We will collect data from each location. Your students will learn, and LiftPort will learn from the students… We will apply this knowledge to the real-world application and development of deploying Tethered Towers. Please note, there are significant FAA, Air Force and Navy requirements involved. We will have to talk with you about these before shipping. In most cases, your Tethered Tower will be ~200-300ft high. Two CAVEATS: 1) The system can be customized. We’ll talk about that in our pre-shipping survey. Depending on the sensors you select, the price may increase. I’m trying to keep the base price as low as possible. And 2) We need at least 5 people to commit to this. If we don’t get that many, we will refund everything. We’re working with a non-profit on this. You’ll get a receipt and a tax deduction. PLUS you’ll get all the rewards at the VIDEO CHANNEL, GET INVOLVED, ADVERTISE YOUR SUPPORT, MEDIUM ART PRINT, CARD CARRYING SUPPORTER, GREETING CARD, RIBBON, and FRIEND, levels.Estimated delivery: Jan 2013
Pledge $500 or more
KEYNOTE SPEAKER: I’ll come and talk with folks about building an Elevator on the Moon; of constructing an Earth Elevator that will unlock the destiny of the human race; of the life-saving value of immediate communications (Tethered Towers). Or I’ll talk on whatever topic you want me to. I’m a story teller. I teach by telling stories about what we’ve accomplished; about lessons learned on the front lines of this project. And I teach by expanding the horizons of the audience. I try hard to connect with the people I’m talking with. I’m as comfortable in front of Congressmen as I am with high school students. I make it an interactive, multimedia dialog with the audience. It’s less of a ‘lecture’ and more of a ‘conversation’. You set the tone, location and group, and I’ll deliver. I’m an award winning public speaker, and have given ~200 professional talks. So if I’m that good, how can you have me at your event for just $500? Because ‘telling the story’ of building the “biggest thing, ever” to an interested audience is more important to me than putting ‘excess’ money in my checking account. Because I want to make this affordable to student groups as well as larger professional associations. I live in the Seattle area, so if we are going beyond that, you’ll have to pick up the extra expenses. I’m happy to provide references. Delivery dates are negotiable. PLUS everything at the VIDEO CHANNEL, GET INVOLVED, ADVERTISE YOUR SUPPORT, MEDIUM ART PRINT, CARD CARRYING SUPPORTER, GREETING CARD, RIBBON, and FRIENDS, levels.Estimated delivery: Jan 2013
Pledge $500 or more
JUMP!: Alright, you won’t be FIRST! (see below) but you’ll be on the list… Ride our balloons and robot up to the top, and then jump. What could be easier, right? Personally, I think you guys are all a little crazy. But then again, I’m building an Elevator in Space… Who am I to say what ‘crazy’ is? If you’ve got the waivers, jump certifications and guts, I won’t stop you from jumping off the tallest man-made structure in the world… and into the history books. Delivery dates are negotiable. PLUS everything at the VIDEO CHANNEL, GET INVOLVED, ADVERTISE YOUR SUPPORT, MEDIUM ART PRINT, CARD CARRYING SUPPORTER, GREETING CARD, RIBBON, and FRIENDS, levels.Estimated delivery: Jan 2013
Pledge $750 or more
CARBON NANOTUBE WEDDING RING: O.k., in this reward, I’m letting you all in on a little secret… Last year I was commissioned to create a “carbon nanotube wedding ring” for a couple of fans. In their words, “Diamonds are the 20th century symbol for strength, and we want the 21st century symbol for unbreakable love…” Well, I couldn’t do exactly what they asked, but I did something pretty interesting. I created a brand new CNT+Metal alloy… and made their wedding rings out of it. I can make more if you want. But there’s a catch. Each ring is custom designed, and I have to work with metallurgists to make this happen. It’s not cheap. Part of the price depends on what sort of precious stones you want, and the complexity of the design. $2000 is probably the minimum threshold, and it could scale to $5000 or $10,000 (or more) if you added a lot of shiny rocks. So here’s the deal, the $750 you pledge here is a deposit. We’ll talk over what you want, and what my team can accomplish, and if it’s a fit, we’ll talk over prices and your budget. If all of this works for you, then the money you pledged will be applied to the final price. If this doesn’t work out, we’ll refund $500. I would return everything, but I have to hire an outside metallurgist for this consultation. Delivery dates are negotiable. PLUS all the rewards at the VIDEO CHANNEL, EXCLUSIVE CHAT, GET INVOLVED, MEDIUM ART PRINT, CARD CARRYING SUPPORTER, GREETING CARD, RIBBON, and FRIENDS, levels.Estimated delivery: Nov 2012
Pledge $1,000 or more
CUSTOM ART: Designed with you and your selected location in mind, we will create an original image for your home or office. We have artists that work in a variety of mediums, and will tailor an image for you. Your image may focus on the themes of the two Elevators or Tethered Towers, or colonizing the Moon, Mars or whatever it is that you dream about. We’ll talk about that when we send your reward survey. LiftPort will keep the rights, and will reproduce prints, but you’ll have the signed original. PLUS all the rewards at the VIDEO CHANNEL, EXCLUSIVE CHAT, GET INVOLVED, MEDIUM ART PRINT, CARD CARRYING SUPPORTER, GREETING CARD, RIBBON, and FRIENDS, levels.Estimated delivery: Nov 2012
Pledge $2,500 or more
DINNER PARTY: Invite 6 other people. Then the 8 of us will talk about the future, humanities move to the stars, acceleration of everything, civilization shifting technologies and our role in all this stuff. We’ll talk about how there is a lag between a society’s moral compass and the technology it uses. We’ll talk about how going to space, en masse, is the best possible future for humanity; and its benefits for most people down here on Earth. I’ll be charming. I know which fork to use. PLUS all the rewards at the VIDEO CHANNEL, EXCLUSIVE CHAT, GET INVOLVED, MEDIUM ART PRINT, CARD CARRYING SUPPORTER, GREETING CARD, RIBBON, and FRIENDS, levels.Estimated delivery: Jan 2013
Pledge $3,000 or more
ROBOT KIT: Everything you need to make a robot that can climb into the sky (or out the window, off the side of a building, or up and down the world’s most awesome tree house or a museum exhibit). All the parts, directions, an exclusive wiki, and access to our team of robotic engineers included. This kit is not for the timid. But it is perfect for an after-school club (with experienced supervision) or a reasonably talented DIYer. PLUS all the rewards at the VIDEO CHANNEL, EXCLUSIVE CHAT, GET INVOLVED, ADVERTISE YOUR SUPPORT, MEDIUM ART PRINT, a print from CUSTOM ART, CARD CARRYING SUPPORTER, GREETING CARD, RIBBON, and FRIENDS, levels.Estimated delivery: Dec 2012
Pledge $5,000 or more
CORPORATE RETREAT: My team and I know an awful lot about tackling big, unbounded, problems. If you and your executive team are heading off-site to work on ‘stuff’, let me help. We’ve created special tools to deal with complex problems – like building Elevators in Space. What I know can probably help you get a handle on whatever it is you are working on. This is probably just like every other corporate coaching and consulting gig your HR people and the Board are trying to shove down your throat. Except it comes from the perspective that changing the world is possible. I’ve done it. And I can show you how. Delivery dates are negotiable. PLUS all the rewards at the VIDEO CHANNEL, EXCLUSIVE CHAT, GET INVOLVED, ADVERTISE YOUR SUPPORT, MEDIUM ART PRINT, a print from CUSTOM ART, CARD CARRYING SUPPORTER, GREETING CARD, RIBBON, and FRIENDS, levels.Estimated delivery: Jan 2013
Pledge $7,500 or more
ASSEMBLED ROBOT: The same as the ROBOT KIT above, but we did all the work and put it together for you. You’re welcome. Comes with a display stand, and plaque. Use it as a ready-made museum exhibit, or as corporate art. (Really, I’m not kidding. The robots in our office always got the attention of visitors. It shows your support, interest and enthusiasm for advanced technology. If you are a patent attorney, this is your public declaration that you believe in the future of amazing technology.) Tell us how you’ll use the ‘bot, and we’ll custom develop extra stuff for you. For example, if it’s for a museum display, we’ll create a set of artwork and instructional materials to post beside your new acquisition. If you’ve got other ideas, we’ll work with you to implement them. Delivery dates are negotiable. PLUS all the rewards at the ROBOT KIT, CUSTOM ART, VIDEO CHANNEL, EXCLUSIVE CHAT, GET INVOLVED, ADVERTISE YOUR SUPPORT, MEDIUM ART PRINT, a print from CUSTOM ART, CARD CARRYING SUPPORTER, GREETING CARD, RIBBON, and FRIENDS, levels.Estimated delivery: Jan 2013
Pledge $10,000 or more
MOON WALKING: What I wanted to offer at this level, I can’t. There are laws prohibiting advertising things you can’t actually perform... And while I’m pretty sure I can perform, I can’t guarantee it. What I wanted to offer for this reward level was the trip of a lifetime; to allow folks to walk on the surface of the Moon. The way I see it, I’m building a railroad in space. My team and I have a lot of work ahead of us, before that happens. But when it does, I’ll have a lot of options. Which means I get to make the rules about who goes where, how often, and at what price. I know in the early days we will have a lot of excess capacity on the Ribbon. So I thought to myself, “why not give a true-believer a ride on the Lunar Elevator? They’d still need to spend about $50M to get a rocket to take them from Earth to the Lagrange point – at which point they’d take our Elevator down to the Moon. But I can at least offer a pre-paid rate on the services of my ‘railroad’…” Alas, I’m not allowed to make that offer. So, instead, I’ll offer my honest thanks. My team will use the money pledged at this level to work on the Feasibility Study. I’ll share EVERYTHING my team learns. And who knows? Perhaps one day you and I will sit down for dinner and discus our options... In the spirit of full disclosure, my company, LiftPort has already failed in its big plans once already. The odds are stacked heavily against us. But I’m committed to this. Buying this reward level might be a waste of money… but I don’t think so. Delivery dates are negotiable. PLUS all the rewards at the CUSTOM ART, VIDEO CHANNEL, EXCLUSIVE CHAT, GET INVOLVED, ADVERTISE YOUR SUPPORT, MEDIUM ART PRINT, a print from CUSTOM ART, CARD CARRYING SUPPORTER, GREETING CARD, RIBBON, and FRIENDS, levels.Estimated delivery: Jan 2013
Pledge $10,000 or more
ANYTIME, ANYWHERE: If there is a disaster anywhere in the world, we’ll send three people to it, with our Tethered Towers and provide a communications, observation and security system for the emergency responders. We’ll train local responders how to use the system. Tethered Towers started out as a robotic test platform. But it evolved after the hurricane in New Orleans. Last year I literally cried as I was watching the news about the tsunami in Japan. I’m certain that if I could have gotten my team there, we could have made a difference. I’m really hoping someone buys this level. Together, we’ll save lives. CAVEAT: $10,000 is not enough to completely cover the costs of this. It will buy a complete kit on ready-standby status. It will also buy me team for a week (not really, but I’ll cover the difference). What it won’t do is cover costs of flights, lodging (I presume if it’s a real disaster we going to be in tents) and food. So this kind of logistic stuff will have to be covered separately, at the time of the event. Fair warning - I’ve talked with experts in this field, and this transportation cost could be very high as it’s a supply/demand problem. Delivery dates are negotiable. PLUS all the rewards at the CUSTOM ART, VIDEO CHANNEL, EXCLUSIVE CHAT, GET INVOLVED, ADVERTISE YOUR SUPPORT, MEDIUM ART PRINT, a print from CUSTOM ART, CARD CARRYING SUPPORTER, GREETING CARD, RIBBON, and FRIENDS, levels.Estimated delivery: Jan 2013
Pledge $10,000 or more
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FIRST! “There can be only one!” Someone is going to jump FIRST! Off the top of the Tethered Tower… It might as well be you! Imagine it; you calmly, quietly, ascend 2 kilometers high, using our balloons. And then, when you’ve had enough of the tremendous view, after you’ve taken all the images you want, after you’ve had lunch at the top of the world, you jump! Of course, you’ll have to have all the necessary parachute qualifications, medical screening and the legal liability waivers will be about a foot thick… If you’re crazy enough to do this, we’re crazy enough to let you! You’ll go down in the record books for skydiving off the world's tallest man-made structure, and the history books as the FIRST! Person on the FIRST! Space Elevator. (Note, this is an experimental system. We’ll have to get flight approval from the FAA, Air Force, and Navy for cleared airspace. This is likely to occur near (way outside of) Phoenix. If we don’t get this approval, you will be refunded. Delivery dates are negotiable. PLUS all the rewards at the CUSTOM ART, VIDEO CHANNEL, EXCLUSIVE CHAT, GET INVOLVED, ADVERTISE YOUR SUPPORT, MEDIUM ART PRINT, a print from CUSTOM ART, CARD CARRYING SUPPORTER, GREETING CARD, RIBBON, and FRIENDS, levelsEstimated delivery: Jan 2013
Pledge $10,000 or more
LET’S MAKE A DEAL: You’ll have access to our internal working documents, review our notes and examine our intellectual property. (We’ll retain all rights while you’re looking.) You’ll get first dibs and a chance to say ‘let’s make a deal’ on any spinoff technology we develop. Then we’ll negotiate in good faith. I believe we already have about +20 patentable and lucrative technologies, and we will develop others in: Materials/Nanotechnology, Space, Energy, Communications, Computing and Robotics. The commitment that you are purchasing at this level guarantees you a seat at the table – not that we will make a deal. However, LiftPort can’t/won’t stop to commercially develop every widget that we create. If we do that, we’ll never accomplish our Vision of an Elevator on the Moon. (For example: CARBON NANOTUBE WEDDING RINGS could lead to a revolution in metallurgy; we forecast applications in specialty electronics. Another example might be commercially deploying Tethered Towers for communication, observation or recreation.) So we will actively seek partners to develop the concepts created in our “Idea Factory”. CAVEAT: There will be a lot of legal mumbo jumbo associated with this reward. We’ll try to hash this out together. If you don’t like the terms, we’ll refund $5000. I’d refund it all, but we’re gonna have to hire the lawyers – to create the mumbo jumbo. Delivery dates are negotiable. PLUS all the rewards at the CUSTOM ART, VIDEO CHANNEL, EXCLUSIVE CHAT, GET INVOLVED, ADVERTISE YOUR SUPPORT, MEDIUM ART PRINT , a print from CUSTOM ART, CARD CARRYING SUPPORTER, GREETING CARD, RIBBON, and FRIENDS, levels.Estimated delivery: Jan 2013
Pledge $10,000 or more
THREE WISHES: We’re going to have a long conversation. In person. Probably several. When you feel you’ve heard enough, you may ask me for three wishes… and like a genie, if it is within my power to grant, I’ll do it. Is this a gamble? Yes, I’m gambling a lot! Is this a gamble for you? Not hardly. I know I’ve got lots and lots of stuff worth this price. But this is a value for value exchange; I’m not giving you control of the project, or all of our intellectual property or something else that is way out of proportion. It’s a trade; I’ll give you something worthy of the price you are paying. Why am I doing this? I have realized something as I’ve been looking at some of the most successful Kickstarter campaigns – that I wanted something that wasn’t on the menu… Well, here’s your chance. This space intentionally left blank. Delivery dates are negotiable. PLUS all the rewards at the CUSTOM ART, VIDEO CHANNEL, EXCLUSIVE CHAT, GET INVOLVED, ADVERTISE YOUR SUPPORT, MEDIUM ART PRINT, a print from CUSTOM ART, CARD CARRYING SUPPORTER, GREETING CARD, RIBBON, and FRIENDS, levels.Estimated delivery: Jan 2013