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It’s Space Elevator research! Smart robots climbing 2 km straight up. The Ribbon is held aloft by large helium balloons.
It’s Space Elevator research! Smart robots climbing 2 km straight up. The Ribbon is held aloft by large helium balloons.
It’s Space Elevator research! Smart robots climbing 2 km straight up. The Ribbon is held aloft by large helium balloons.
3,468 backers pledged $110,353 to help bring this project to life.

Neil Armstrong

There are several ‘space-themed’ campaigns in Kickstarter. To me, this signals that the human species (not just a single culture or nation) wants to go to space. We want to explore and discover; and we want to build something great…

Neil Armstrong is a hero.

Neil died while our community was meeting at the International Space Elevator Conference – held at the Museum of Flight – surrounded by space artifacts.

I’m sorry that I’m so inadequate, but I’m not the kind of guy that can write an appropriate eulogy. The ‘moment of silence’ while attending the conference seemed woefully inadequate to express our collective loss. So after some quiet contemplation over what the man, the myth and the mission meant to me, I decided to do something.

I’ve removed the $10,000 pledge level of “Name Our Robot”. That reward was ‘vanity bait’ for corporate backers to name our ‘bot, and cover it with stickers like a NASCAR racer. In hindsight it seems crass and inappropriate.

But no more.

Neil will get – and deserve – hundreds of statues in his honor. This is our tribute: We, LiftPort, will name the robot we build for this experiment – Neil. And the first robotic car that carries humans – once again – back to the Moon “… Before this decade is out…” will be named – Armstrong.

Take care,
President, LiftPort Group


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    1. Michael Laine Creator on September 2, 2012

      All of you - thanks. I'm glad you folks feel the same way we do.
      @Emanuel - You will get a balloon kit / tethered tower and a set of curriculum to help teach it. I've had a few questions about this, and will provide more information in the FAQ (but, I have also had a lot of questions about the rings, so I'm writing that FAQ first.)
      @derek - Ya the kicktraq site is exciting, but we're trying to stay focused on the task and not the hype.
      @Euodiachloris - Lol. ;-)
      @ Mohammad - I'm a pretty fortunate guy. I've met Buzz Aldrin a couple times, and John Glenn once; several other astronauts and some other 'famous' people. But I really wanted to meet Neil... we never crossed paths. This is the best I can do. I'm glad you (all of you) appreciate it.
      @Porthos - Thanks! I didn't do it for the increase in pledges - I did it because it was the right thing to do. But in full disclosure a lot of folks increased their amount. It won't equal the $10k that we 'gave up' if we'd kept that reward level, but it was a very welcome response.

      Take care, all.

    2. Benjamin Lee on August 31, 2012

      Good call. I can completely respect that decision. I hope to see it someday. Keep up the great work, you guys.

    3. Emanuel Moura on August 31, 2012

      By the way, kudos for the Neil Armstrong homage.

    4. Emanuel Moura on August 31, 2012

      Please clarify something to me. If I pledge $300.00 for the Tethered Tower, the money is going to buy a Tower, or will I have to pay more for it? It's clear that the more sensors I want, the more expensive it gets; what I mean is: for 300 bucks, will I still get the bare bones thing?

    5. Yorik on August 31, 2012

      Doing well guys, happy with my pledge amount. To be honest the rewards above my pledge amount aren't really options for me due to location and time constraints, but I love this project. Glad I got in early.

      BTW, have you see your Kicktraq? Interesting statistics to follow and keep an eye on.

    6. Euodiachloris on August 31, 2012

      @Micheal Lane: "Sweetly-scented yellow-green" is one translation from the Ionic Greek... but modern Greeks tend to read "strongly smells of plants". lol
      @Porthos.: Gee... I wonder... ;)

    7. Mohammad Yusuf Syafroni Karim on August 31, 2012

      You had my respect dude, with trade 10k with his name
      Neil is awesome even in this modern era.

    8. Ron Hand on August 30, 2012

      Thank you for honoring such a wondrfull Man. Kudos Michael !

    9. Missing avatar

      Porthos on August 30, 2012

      @Euo Glad to see you over here. No idea what could ever have brought you to this project. ;-)
      @Michael Lane. Massive thumbs up and respect from this corner of the net on the naming of the 'bot. Might even lead to more people backing the project. :)

    10. Gareth Hodges
      on August 30, 2012

      A very appropriate decision, Michael!

    11. Martin Breiner
      on August 30, 2012

      Good Idea, I support that.

    12. Paul Dutch on August 30, 2012

      That is very fitting! Kudos to you for honouring Mr Armstrong like this! I think he would have approved..

    13. Missing avatar

      marc on August 30, 2012

      Very good idea.

    14. J-B-L on August 30, 2012

      Absolute Genius!

    15. Plasmacubed on August 30, 2012

      Wow this is really hart warming. I'm glad to be supporting this.

    16. Michael Laine Creator on August 30, 2012

      @ Keelan - me neither!

      @ Hans, Michael, Jeffery, Derek and Dustin - Thank you. Our team talked it over for about 5 seconds! In the spirit of full disclosure - it wasn't our idea. One of the Facebook fans (Roy Andre Nilsen) posted it to us, and we thought it was a great idea.

      @CaffeineForge - We WILL go higher. We're only $10k away from our next Stretch Goal, and we've got 13 days left - So I can reasonably see us with $50-100K by the time this campaign closes! So Yes, we are going to take this balloon experiment to the limit. And that knowledge will lead toward our Lunar Elevator; and all that knowledge circles back for the Earth system.

      @Euodiachloris - (That's a complicated Greek name, right? What does it mean?) Right - that was my feeling as well. I was really bothered by that kind of overt sponsorship. It felt a little counter to the philosophies of the Kickstarter community. Don't get me wrong - I would have gladly taken the check if the window/doors company had offered. I really want to build this thing, and it takes cash to do it. BUT, now that the first experiment is funded, and we've reached our 1st and 2nd stretch goals (and 3rd is well in sight) I felt I could relax a little and remove this somewhat-objectionable reward level and pay homage to a great man.

      @ Katja - Ya, I got a little choked up was I wrote the message... I always read my documents aloud before I post them... and this time as I read it, I really felt something personal. I'm glad it impacted you - I was hoping it would. This stuff matters to me.

      Take care,

    17. Michelle Cadieux on August 30, 2012

      Thanks @Roy Andrew Nilson who also had the same idea and posted on our page! Keep your ideas coming and post on

    18. Katja Isaksen on August 30, 2012

      That's so nice. Must've gotten moondust in my eyes, got all teary!

    19. Missing avatar

      David John on August 30, 2012

      I love the reference at the end to kennedy's infamous speech that sent Neil on that legendary journey. But im just wondering, are you actually aiming to have humans on a robotic car on the moon by 2020?

    20. Euodiachloris on August 30, 2012

      That is lovely. :) It certainly beats the poor thing being named after a window & doors manufacturer (20% off, hurry now! Buy the first floor, get the top free!). ;P

    21. Caffeineforge LLC on August 30, 2012

      Wonderful idea. Now we have to get this robot even higher!

    22. Hans Cummings
      on August 30, 2012

      Very nice. Classy. Most appropriate!

    23. Missing avatar

      Keelan Runnalls on August 30, 2012

      I couldn't think of a better way to pay tribute.