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Michael Laine - LiftPort Group. Port Orchard (Near Seattle), WA, US

Michael Laine

President | LiftPort Group

Port Orchard (Near Seattle), WA, UNITED STATES

Think Big! There is a profound difference between 'difficult', 'very hard' and 'impossible'. We're building an Elevator to Space. Really.








Michael Laine has been involved with Space Elevator research since the definitive 2001-3 NASA study. At LiftPort he manages a talented team from academia, government, commercial and military communities. Laine’s team has created carbon nanotubes, discovered a new metal alloy, and built robots that climbed a mile into the sky. Laine’s business management, coupled with his media, marketing and outreach skills have transformed this project from an obscure NASA paper study to a real world program – with tangible results.

LiftPort Group, is experiencing a renaissance. It recently shifted gears to focus on a Lunar Space Elevator Infrastructure. Laine’s mandate to his team has three elements:
1) Sputnik-like simplicity
2) Purchase Order Technology
3) Single Launch Solution.

Echoing President Kennedy’s commitment, Laine and LiftPort believe we can create an Elevator on the Moon “…before this decade is out.”

Industry Expertise (3)



VC and Private Equity

Areas of Expertise (5)


Operational Management



Advanced Technology

Accomplishments (4)

Awards (personal)


Scholarship to Leadership Kitsap; Presented with award by Chief of Police and Mayor of Bremerton; Featured in Newsweek: Space Elevator is the #4 “Invention that will change the next century”; Passed the test, but declined membership in Mensa; Seattle Robotics Society awarded “Most Innovative”; Seattle Business Monthly: “Top 25 Innovative Companies”; International Space University Scholarships; “Shorty Award” finalist for Science.

While serving in the United States Marine Corps (personal)


“Top 1%” of all Marines for physical fitness, and rifleman; Meritoriously promoted. Navy Unit Commendation, Marine Unit Citation (x2), Good Conduct, Navy Achievement Medal, Honorable discharge, recognized by Commandant of Marines.

Magazine + Newspaper Interviews (professional)


Fortune, Inc., Newsweek, Aviation Week, Wired, Seattle Magazine, Economist, Popular Science, New Scientist, Air and Space, Aviation, Cosmos, La Fletcha, Reforma, Focus, DD Magazine, Rue89, Flight International, Dnevnik. London Times, New York Times, Washington Post, Globe and Mail, London Guardian, Seattle Post Intelligencer/Times, Toronto Star, Punjab News, Mail and Guardian, Taipei Times, Investor's Business Daily, Washington Times, Boston Business Journal, USA Today

Digital + Mass Media Interviews (professional)


Television – CNN/Money, ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, NW Cable News, PBS, Discovery Channel, BBC, CBC, V3, Science Channel, CNET, MSNBC. Radio – BBC, CBC, NPR, The Space Show, EarthSky, Science & Society. Internet – TheSpaceReview, CNN Blog,, MSNBC, Wired News, io9, Universe Today, AZO Nano, ComSpaceWatch, SpaceDaily, Global Security, NextBigFuture, LiveScience, Sina, SciScoop, VentureBeat.

Education (4)

United States Marine Corps: 'School of Hard Knocks'

International Space University: Space Studies Program - Barcelona Spain

Boston University: Business Administration, Marketing, Organizational Bahavior

International Space University: Masters in Business Administration

* Expected '13

Affiliations (6)

  • Awesome Seattle Foundation - Trustee
  • Space Literacy Foundation - Board Member
  • Leeward Space Foundation - Board Member
  • International Space University US Alumni Association - President
  • LiftPort Group - President
  • International Space Elevator Consortium - Adviser

Testimonials (2)

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This is a 'placeholder' testimonial. I've never really felt the need to collect these before. But I've sent out a few requests, and I'm certain I'll get some good reviews.

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This is a 'placeholder' testimonial. I've never really felt the need to collect these before. But I've sent out a few requests, and I'm certain I'll get some good reviews.

Event Appearances (9)

Space Advocacy - Keynote, Lobbyist, and Panelist

National Space Society – International Space Development Conferences, Mars Society, Space Frontier Foundation, Space Access Society, ProSpace, Seattle Astronomical Society  California, Washington DC, Colorado, Arizona, Washington

Advanced Technology Geek – Keynote

MindCamp, Futures Salons (Seattle, San Francisco, Las Vegas), Science Cafes, DorkBot, Seattle Robotics Society, San Francisco Robotics Society, Science on Tap  Washington, California, Nevada

Business Keynote, Contestant, Subject Matter Expert

Microsoft Research, MIT Enterprise Forum, Agora StartUp Idol, University of Washington Technology Center - NanoTechnology Lab  Washington

Industry Research Keynote, Invited Guest Lecturer

Foresight Nanotech Institute, International Space Elevator Conference, Aerospace Electronic Systems Society (IEEE)  California, New Mexico, Washington

Science Fiction Keynote, Panelist, Book Signings & Readings

DragonCon, NorWesCon, WesterCon, RustyCon, BaltiCon, Icon, Science Fiction Museum  Georgia, Washington, Maryland, New York

Academic Events and Invited Guest Lecturer

Princeton & Rutgers & North Carolina State & Puget Sound Universities; Harvard Business School; Georgia, New Jersey & Massachusetts Institutes of Technology; University of Washington  New Jersey, Massachusetts, Georgia, North Carolina, Washington

Government Briefings and Subject Matter Expert

US Congress, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Athens Conference on Advanced Technology, NASA Centennial Challenges Workshop, FAA, FCC, CIA, NRO, NSA, NASA  Washington DC, Athens Greece

Military Invited Guest Lecturer

US Air Force Academy, National Defense University, Defense Advanced Projects Research Agency, Air Force Research Laboratory  Colorado, Washington DC, Ohio

Social Good Events - Keynote and Panelist

Conference on World Affairs, High, Middle and Elementary School, Students for the Exploration and Development of Space, Lions, Rotary, San Diego Air and Space Museum, Seattle Museum of Flight  Colorado, Washington, Illinois, California

Sample Talks (1)

Space Elevator 101

This is a visionary talk. How and why we are building the “biggest thing, ever!” We discuss the history of the project, and use multimedia to describe construction and usage of the system. I use about 30% of my allotted time to show ‘canned’ material – this puts everyone on the same page. Then it is a ‘free-for-all’ of Q&A for the remaining period. I use extensive video, animation, imagery and playful storytelling to make this project relevant.



  • Keynote
  • Moderator
  • Panelist
  • Workshop Leader
  • Author Appearance
  • Corporate Training


500 to 5000 *Will consider certain engagements for no fee