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March 24th, 2005
Space elevators - a futuristic idea in which space is accessed via long tethers with the power needed being transmitted on beams of light - are the target of two new cash prizes, sponsored by NASA.
The prizes, announced on Wednesday evening, are the first in a series called "Centennial Challenges", modelled on the $10 million X Prize recently awarded to the first privately developed spacecraft. Winning teams will receive $50,000 in 2005 for either building the strongest strand of material or for using light to power a wireless robot up a cable.
(Ed.'s note: carbon nanotubes are considered the prime candidate for the tether material for the SE)
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