Feeds

Space elevator business plan crashes to Earth

Cease, and desist

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Today we bring you the surprising news that space elevators are not yet a viable business concern, as the Department of Financial Institutions Securities Division (DFISD) in the state of Washington issued a cease and desist order against LiftPort.

The LiftPort Group (motto: Change the world or go home) was founded in 2003 with the specific goal of building a space elevator; a common piece of equipment in science fiction universes that is proving more difficult to construct in the real world.

The simplest description of the elevator is that it is a long, extremely strong cable suspended from a geostationary satellite, and fixed to a "spaceport" of some kind on Earth. The idea is that we could use gravitational potential energy to lift equipment and people out of our gravity well.

This would be far cheaper than fighting our way into space on rockets, and could potentially transform the way we could explore and exploit our solar system.

But turning the idea into reality is proving tough for LiftPort. The firm's founder, Michael Laine, recently told The Space Show back in May that he wasn't sure the firm's new venture "Tethered Towers" could survive on its own as a going concern, but that it would be unethical for him to ask for more cash from his investors.

And in its filing against the firm, the DFISD says:

The Statement of Charges alleges that Respondents raised at least $117,000 from at least 85 investors, nine of whom are Washington residents, by offering and selling unregistered securities in LiftPort, Inc., a company formed for the purpose of developing a space elevator.

The Securities Division alleged that the Respondents acted as an unregistered broker-dealer and/or securities salesperson.

The Division also alleged that the offer and sale of securities by the Respondents violated the anti-fraud provisions of the Securities Act of Washington. The Securities Division ordered the Respondents to cease and desist from violating the securities registration, broker-dealer and/or securities salesperson registration, and anti-fraud provisions of the Securities Act of Washington.

The Securities Division gave notice of its intent to collect fines and charge costs. The Respondents have a right to request a hearing on the Statement of Charges.

What this all means, according to SpaceElevator.com, is that after four years of research and development, LiftPort and Tethered Towers have until September this year to start generating revenues of $25,000 per month, or it will be time to go home. ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
Asteroid's DINO KILLING SPREE just bad luck – boffins
Sauricide WASN'T inevitable, reckon scientists
Flamewars in SPAAACE: cooler fires hint at energy efficiency
Experiment aboard ISS shows we should all chill out for cleaner engines
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
NASA Mars rover FINALLY equals 1973 Soviet benchmark
Yet to surpass ancient Greek one, however
Famous 'Dish' radio telescope to be emptied in budget crisis: CSIRO
Radio astronomy suffering to protect Square Kilometre Array
BEST BATTERY EVER: All lithium, all the time, plus a dash of carbon nano-stuff
We have found the Holy Grail (of batteries) - boffins
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.