Feeds

Space elevator business plan crashes to Earth

Cease, and desist

Security for virtualized datacentres

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. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
SECRET U.S. 'SPACE WARPLANE' set to return from SPY MISSION
Robot minishuttle X-37B returns after almost 2 years in orbit
LOHAN crash lands on CNN
Overflies Die Welt en route to lively US news vid
'Utter killjoy Reg hacks have NEVER BEEN LAID', writes a fan
'Shuddit, smarty pants!' Some readers reacted badly to our last Doctor Who review ...
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
Carry On Cosmonaut: Willful Child is a poor taste Star Trek parody
Cringeworthy, crude and crass jokes abound in Steven Erikson’s sci-fi debut
White LED lies: It's great, but Nobel physics prize-winning great?
How artificial lighting could offer an artificial promise
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.