LiftPort, one of the leading space pioneers (with a real vision for inexpensive transportation into space) has set back the clock for constructing a Space Elevator by 13 years (as this screen shot shows).

Their text still marks April 12th as the launch date, which was chosen in honor of Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, who was the first human to be launched into space aboard the Vostok 1.

LiftPort goes on to explain the reasons for the delay over on their Roadmap Plan:

Although LiftPort is involved in the production of carbon nanotubes, we will likely rely on the global development of high strength CNT materials. While we assume the material will be available around the year 2020, earlier availability will not particularly speed up development of the space elevator. […]

The longest tether ever deployed in space was roughly 20km long. Given the history of problems in tether experiments, it would be imprudent and impractical (at best) to go immediately to a 100,000km system. In addition, much can be learned by smaller scale tether design experiments before the final carbon nanotube-based ribbon material is available.

Although this will give young bucks like this author plenty of time to build up a nest egg to establish a lunar house, one wonders if LiftPort’s founders will still be “at their prime” by the time the space elevator becomes profitable.

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