In a short, short time from now, in a desert not so far away contestants will gather around to compete in a copetition unlike any other. Using their knowledge, skills and hopefully a little luck, they seek to not only win the purse prizes offered by NASA, (up to $400,000 this year) but also prove to the skeptics that an elevator to the stars can be built by human hands.

(Cosmic Log) This month’s Space Elevator Games in New Mexico are aimed at testing the technologies that could someday be used to send payloads up to space on carbon nanotube ribbons – technologies such as superstrong tethers, beamed-power systems and robotic climbers. But those technologies could also make tomorrow’s interplanetary rovers and power systems better. That’s why NASA is providing $400,000 in prize money for the games this year – and setting aside up to $4 million through 2010.

NASA, seeking a way to curb down prices of launching payloads into space has turned towards the private sector for help. Contestants from around the world will be participating in this event, hoping to attract media attention of a future technology that may revolutionlize life on Earth as we know it.

The Space Elevator (a technology concept slowly making its way throughout the public) has the potental of reducing the cost of space from the millions to an affordable rate for private companies–and in the future for individuals as well.

X-Prize Cup is broadcasting these competitions live over on their site for the internet masses who are unable (or unwilling) to visit the dusty state of New Mexico. The stakes for the competition are high, as many of these individuals know that the world will be watching them, both the critics as well as the supporters.

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