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Liftport Suffers Technical - and Legal - Setback

Normally I don't copy a (nearly) complete article into a blog entry but because this is a bit of a black eye for the nascent space elevator industry (and about a company I have high hopes for) I wanted to be as thorough as possible.

"[City of] Millville Sues Company Over $50,000 Loan" - The Daily Journal

By JOSEPH P. SMITH - Staff Writer

MILLVILLE, NJ -- The city filed a civil lawsuit this week to recover a $50,000 loan to a company hoping to open a carbon nanotube factory here.

LiftPort Nanotech, a subsidiary of LiftPort Group of Bremerton, Wash., has not made a loan repayment in 90 days, the suit alleges. LiftPort also has a matching loan from Cumberland County's Empowerment Zone. Both loans date to late 2005.

Donald Ayres, the city's Economic Development director, said Friday technical problems kept the company from starting production.


LiftPort counted on experimental custom furnaces to produce the nanotubes. It received two models of furnaces in succession. Neither performed as hoped.


'We had to do what we had to do,' Ayres said. The city still is interested in the project."

Responding via e-mail Joe Julian, Liftport's Executive Vice-President/Media, said "We read the article in the Millville news but haven't received anything from either the city or the county. According to the article, we're supposed to be given 90 days [to respond once being served], which if things keep progressing the way they are, should be a non-issue."

Due to the timing of this post Millville officials were unavailable for comment. Watch this space for updates.


Astronomers Launch Space Exploration 2007

The Albuquerque Astronomical Society (TAAS) showed a large, diverse crowd of conference attendees what astronomers see, an alternative technique for seeing it and then Alan Hale caught us up on what's been happening in his personal and professional life in the 10 years since
The Albuquerque Astronomical Society
Hale-Bopp to launch the Space Engineering and Science Institute's 2007 edition of its International Conference and Exposition on Science, Engineering and Habitation in Space.

TAAS's Bruce Levin showed why amateur astronomers go to great trouble and expense to practice their hobby/profession by taking us billions of light years into space via a series of photos from NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day. Next, Dale Murray, another TAAS member explained the ins and outs and whys and wherefores of backyard astronomy with binoculars.

The evening ended with audience and TAAS members gathering behind the hotel for some stargazing with the kind assistance of several TAAS members like local mechanic Ric Thiem who brought the giant scope seen at the left that provided gorgeous views of the moon like the one seen below.

More pictures from the conference kick-off are available at my Picassa web gallery.

Moon over Albuquerque

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