Bradley C. Edwards


Bradley C. Edwards
Alma materUniversity of Wisconsin–Madison

Bradley C. Edwards is an American physicist who has been involved in the development of the space elevator concept.[1]


Dr Edwards received his PhD degree in Physics from the University of Wisconsin–Madison in 1990.[2] His thesis work was in astrophysics on the soft x-ray background. During his graduate work he worked on x-ray micro calorimeters and several sounding rocket and Shuttle payloads.

After receiving his PhD, Dr Edwards was hired as a staff scientist at Los Alamos National Laboratory where he was co-investigator on the ALEXIS satellite, developed superconducting tunnel junction detectors, a lunar orbiter, a Mars mission,[which?] a Europa orbiter and the world's first optical cryocooler.[citation needed] In 1998, Dr Edwards began working on the space elevator concept.[citation needed]

Edwards received funding from the NASA Institute for Advanced Concepts to examine the idea and published two papers in 2000 and 2003.[3][4] He proposed methods for deploying a space elevator and overcoming perceived obstacles such as orbital debris, anchoring, climber design, and power delivery and examined construction costs and scheduling, laying the groundwork for current[when?] discussions.[5][6]

Edwards also published two books on the subject, The Space Elevator: A Revolutionary Earth-to-Space Transportation in 2003 and Leaving the Planet by Space Elevator in 2006 which gained coverage on major news media.[7][8][9][10]

In interviews, Edwards has estimated that price per pound of launching into low Earth orbit could be reduced to 100th the cost of Shuttle missions.[11]

Edwards spent eleven years working at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, researching advanced space technologies.[citation needed] He attempted a number of ventures associated with the space elevator concept and spent six years as a senior engineer at Sea-Bird Electronics, an oceanographic company.[citation needed] He has recently[when?] started a new company to develop carbon nanotube technology.[12]


  • The Space Elevator: A Revolutionary Earth-to-Space Transportation System, by Bradley C. Edwards and Eric A. Westling (November 2003)
  • Leaving the Planet by Space Elevator, by Bradley C. Edwards and Philip Ragan (October 2006)


  1. ^ Edwards, Bradley C. "The Space Elevator" (PDF). Retrieved 21 March 2021.
  2. ^ "The Space Elevator". Google Books. Retrieved 21 March 2021.
  3. ^ Edwards, Bradley (1 October 2000). "NIAC Phase I study". NASA Institute for Advanced Concepts.
  4. ^ Edwards, Bradley (1 March 2003). "NIAC Phase II study". NASA Institute for Advanced Concepts.
  5. ^ International Academy of Astronautics – Commission III
  6. ^ International Space Elevator Consortium – space elevator in depth the history of the space elevator Archived June 14, 2014, at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ CNN – Express lift to the stars
  8. ^ The guardian- The cheap way to the stars – by escalator
  9. ^ NBCnews – big bucks go space elevator study
  10. ^ NYtimes – Not science fiction: An elevator to space
  11. ^ Sara Goudarzi (18 Feb 2005). " Interview:Elevator Man: Bradley Edwards Reaches for the Heights".
  12. ^ "Bradley Edwards". LinkedIn. Retrieved 19 August 2014.