The goal of our project is to win the NASA Centennial Challenges Strong Tether Challenge using carbon nanotube-based materials.
The goal of the Strong Tether Challenge is to promote the development of a material with a tensile strength 50% greater than currently available materials in effort of producing a tether suitable for building a space elevator.
The tether we need to produce must weigh no more than 2.000 g and be no shorter than 2.000 m long. It must also break at a higher load than our competitors’ tethers, and the House Tether, which is allowed to weigh up to 3.000 g but can only be made out of commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) materials.
We competed in the 2007 Spaceward Games in Salt Lake City, Utah, where we proudly lost, but qualified to compete, with a tether made out of 100% carbon nanotubes (mostly single-walled, but with some double-walled content).