Laine has been involved with Space Elevator research since 2001 – the definitive NASA Institute for Advanced Concepts (NIAC) study. At the conclusion of NIAC, Laine used the accumulated knowledge to form LiftPort Group to push forward the concept and to commercially construct the Space Elevator.
Laine is President of LiftPort Group – LiftPort Group is an “idea factory” focused on commercializing the spin-off technologies necessarily developed in pursuit of the Lunar Space Elevator Infrastructure.
A teenage fan once said that Michael Laine was building “the biggest thing, ever!” – our Lunar Space Elevator Infrastructure. He and his team of accomplished engineers (and a legion of other specialists!) think we can build the Lunar Elevator in 7-9 years for ~$800M. Along the way, Laine’s team have discovered new metal alloys, hold records in robotics and ballooning, created a new method of weather monitoring, and failed to figure out how to build the strongest materials ever.
While this is not a typical resume for a commercial space company, Laine’s array of professional experiences – U.S. Marine, investment advisor, internet entrepreneur and real estate developer – have each contributed to the global program of building the Space Elevator. The Marines taught him to persevere under difficult conditions, chokepoint analysis, – and most importantly at a young age – leadership skills. Managing other peoples’ money taught him to evaluate and mitigate risk. Laine learned time management, delegation and operating at ‘internet speed’ running his first big company. Finally, real estate forced Laine to focus on cashflow, politics, and the value of a stable financial foundation.
Laine attended Boston University and is Past President of the U.S. Alumni Association for the International Space University.