Thanks to the NASA-sponsored Space Elevator Games, LaserMotive managed to snag $900,000 (2nd place) for successfully running “a climber up 1 kilometer of test cable at an average rate of just over 2 meters per second.” The $1.1-million first prize is still up for grabs — has to climb at 5m/sec. Video after the break. Here’s how they work:

A satellite at geostationary orbit is anchored to the Earth at the equator by a long tether. This tether is then used to move payloads up and down the Elevator without the use of expensive chemical propellants or single-use launch vehicles.

[via Wired]