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Music for the Space Elevator Ride

The space elevator entered the collective consciousness over 110 years ago through the mind of Konstantin Tsiolkovsky and remained largely hidden behind the Iron Curtain until it entered pop culture in Sir Arthur C. Clarke's The Fountains of Paradise in 1979.

A portal to a new dimension of the shared mind opened up in mid-2006 with the release of Inquisitor Betrayer's CD Space Elevator four years after an electronics engineer with a synthesizer fixation (and closet alien) named Dale Kay, and multi-instrumentalist/keyboardist Wes Antczak started putting out symphonic electronica on their particular wavelength.

Along the way, the duo was augmented by a maiden named Lorraine who liked Dale's last name so much she took it as her own when they married.

Speaking to the Space Elevator Journal in their collective e-mail voice the band explains what attracted them to the space elevator as an album concept.

Dale and Wes are in harmony on the concept's genesis in the excitement of watching sci-fi influences from Arthur C. Clarke, Stanislaw Lem and "favorite TV shows such as Star Trek, Space 1999, and later Babylon 5, and movies such as (of course) the Star Wars saga" become reality.

"Man's journey into space is at hand," adds Wes. "It's real, it's complex, it's frightening, It's also the greatest ride we can ever imagine. It's all of these things rolled up into one fantastic and unbelievably intense experience."

"The music goes beyond anything earthly and current – to connect with something so into the future," Lorraine explains. "I wasn’t actually in on selecting the concept. It was something decided before I joined the band. Both Dale and Wes are heavily into sci-fi [and] I too am a big sci-fi fan going back as far as the old Buck Rogers serials, Jules Verne books and the 'Danny Dunn and the Anti-Gravity' series of books (and no, I am not that old)."

Once the SE is built and the world is "busy with a mission other than self-destruction" Dale opines SE passengers (and listeners) will be able to "relax, sit back, enjoy the music. The ride is all about you now."

Offered a free ticket to space on the SE Wes would simply "go for a quick spin around the solar system and then probably come back home and get back to making more music."

Lorraine "would probably just give my free ride to someone else [because] I don’t even like to fly in an airplane" [but thinks] "it would work for Dale [because he] is an alien you know ... and lately I’ve been beginning to wonder about Wes. How else could [Dale] come up with all the stuff he puts in our music?"

"I would like to take a look around with my camera in hand," agrees Dale the newly-outed alien. "Maybe park up next to one of the new telescopes that would be in place by the time I could go for a ride. Hook my camera up and just take some pictures [and then]- home ... it's been a while since I been there."

Listen to samples here at Inquisitor Betrayer's web site or just Buy the Disc


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McGill Space Elevator Team

Andrew J.Higgins
The McGill Space Elevator Team (MSET), led by Associate Professor Andrew Higgins and team captain Cyrus Foster MSET has already made significant progress towards their goal of claiming the US$500K first prize in the Climber (Power Beaming) segment of the Spaceward Foundation's 2007 Space Elevator Competition (SEC2K7)

"Our design philosophy is to make something small,simplistic and lightweight. Ideally we want our climber to weigh 10kg, the minimum weight allowed by the rules," explains Foster via email.

MSET Climber Prototype

"We are indeed a first-year team [but] we studied photos and videos of the 2006 competition as we were designing our climber. The biggest pointer we picked up was to account for wind drag. We're going to have a cone over the flat photo-voltaic array to minimize drag."

MSET's 22-person roster is made up of students from the venerable Montreal university's mechanical, electrical and computing departments and is composed of three sub-teams; Beam, Climber and Driving/Braking that will try to get up the tether faster than the other teams within their proposed budget of $30,450.

The team has completed their design, and are testing their prototype even though they are still looking for sponsorship. Potential patrons can refer to MSET's Sponsorship Package for details.

MSET has their work cut out for them as another Canadian team from University of Saskatchewan (USST who will have their own profile on the Space Elevator Journal soon) has posted the fastest climbs the last two years in a row without surpassing the minimum speed of two metres per second required to claim the US$500K purse provided by NASA. This year USST may finally finish in the money only to have to split it with MSET or one of the other 24 teams in the race.

The 2007 McGill Space Elevator Team

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Canada Invades the 2007 Space Elevator Competition

The early-bird registration deadline for the 2007 edition of the Elevator 2010 Space Elevator Games is tomorrow and as per the Elevator 2010 teams list 28 teams have already registered. Two in the tether competition and the remaining 26 vying for their part of the US$500K prize money in the climber segment.

The Space Elevator Competition 2007 (SEC2K7) can now truly be called a global event with 10 of the teams coming from outside of the USA. Five teams have to cross the pond to get to the as-yet unannounced location from Ruhrarea and Munich (Germany), Kiev (Ukraine), Barcelona (Spain) and Tehran (Iran) and five are from Canada.

McGill Space Elevator Team (Montreal)

Associate Professor Andrew Higgins is organizing this first-year team. M-SET is looking to build a climber that approaches the minimum weight specification allowed.
Queen's Space Elevator Team (Kingston)
University of Saskatchewan Space Team (Saskatoon)

These guys are the big dogs taking first place in both 2005 and 2006. They have acquired a laser and are taking their design to the next generation.
University of Alberta Space Elevator Team (Edmonton)

Another first-time team comprised of 14 students from Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Engineering Physics and Electrical Engineering Technicians led by faculty advisor Dr Abdulhakem Elezzabi.
[No Logo Available] GTA (Toronto)

This team is registered by Ron Bakowski who competed with Punkworks last year.

The wind challenged a few of the climbers last year so this year's climber competition has a new handbook.

Spaceward Foundation's Ben Shelef says via email "The wind was indeed a problem, but didn't stop anyone from winning. We'll have it licked this year by a combination of technical and administrative rule changes."

Stayed tuned to the SEJ for team profiles and more SEC2K7 news.

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