Solar energy harvested in space offers the potential for an unlimited and constant zero carbon power source
SWINDON, UK (UK Space Agency PR) — The UK government has commissioned new research into space-based solar power (SBSP) systems that would use very large solar power satellites to collect solar energy, convert it into high-frequency radio waves, and safely beam it back to ground-based receivers connected to the electrical power grid.
It is an idea first conjured by science-fiction writer Isaac Asimov in 1941, and is now being studied by several nations because the lightweight solar panels and wireless power transmission technology is advancing rapidly. This, together with lower cost commercial space launch, may make the concept of solar power satellites more feasible and economically viable.
Now the UK in 2020 will explore whether this renewable technology could offer a resilient, safe and sustainable energy source.
Space Studies Institute Senior Adviser John C. Mankins has launched a KickStarter fund-raising campaign to fund a new high-quality, non-fiction book on space solar power. Mankins, an internationally recognized expert on the subject who is president of Artemis Innovation Management Solutions LLC, is attempting to raise $25,000 by Wednesday, June 27.
A brief summary of the project:
I propose to write and publish a high-quality nonfiction book on the topic of Space Solar Power — harvesting solar energy in space and delivering it via wireless power transmission to Earth as clean, affordable and sustainable electricity. The book would be intended for general and expert audiences, and depending on the pledge amount would be provided along with various additional information and items, including one or more videos. It would comprise technical, historical and policy related details, and would summarize the latest news in this unique field, including a transformational new SPS advanced concept: “SPS-ALPHA”. (At present, it is planned to be entitled “Space Solar Power & the SPS-ALPHA Concept,” although this may change…)
Please give what you can to help John reach his goal. Click here to donate. Time is short. Donate today.
NSS PR — Washington, D.C. — The National Space Society (NSS) will hold a press conference on November 14, 2011, from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., to announce the findings of a ground-breaking space solar power study conducted by the prestigious International Academy of Astronautics (IAA).
“With space solar power technology, energy can be collected from space and transmitted wirelessly anywhere in the world,” said Mark Hopkins, the leading Executive Officer of the National Space Society. “This technology could be the answer to our energy crisis. We look forward to sharing the results of the IAA’s study, and exploring the potential that space solar power has for creating thousands of green energy jobs,” he added.
This event is free and open to the public. Members of the press are encouraged to attend.
NSS PR — Dr. Rajeswari Pillai Rajagopalan, a Senior Fellow at Indiaâ€™s Institute of Security Studies, and Senior Fellow at Indiaâ€™s Observer Research Foundation, is urging the United States and India to jointly develop an energy alternative that can take us beyond nuclear technology.Â Events like the recent earthquake in Japan are causing many to rethink traditional energy sources.Â The energy alternative suggested is Space Solar Power (SSP).Â In the online Analysis publication of the Indian Observer Research Foundation, Dr. Rajagopalan writes, â€œWith the earthquake and the subsequent tsunami that hit Japan on March 11, isnâ€™t it time for India and the US to make serious commitments to Space-Based Solar Power?â€
Climate change and suborbital spaceflight The same day that commercial spaceflight supporters were celebrating the development of Spaceport America, a new study concluded that suborbital flights that facility will host could alter the planetâ€™s climate. Jeff Foust examines the latest research and some of the issues associated with the study. The mysteries of Titan Thirty years ago this week Voyager 1 made the first close flyby of Titan, Saturnâ€™s largest moon and one of the most intriguing worlds in the solar system. Andrew LePage recounts the research into Titan and the planning that led up to that encounter.
Space solar powerâ€™s Indian connection As the United States and India seek closer ties, should space-based solar power be on the agenda? Jeff Foust reports on developments in that field, including a new joint initiative supported by a former Indian president.
Tom Abate from the San Francisco Chronicle has an excellent overview of last weekend’s Space Studies Institute’s Space Manufacturing 14 conference that deals with space-based solar power and other ventures:
Today, said conferee John Mankins of Artemis Innovation Management Solutions, such arrays would be far more economic, thanks to efficiencies in everything from solar cells to rocket launchers – not to mention the environmental benefit of supplying electricity without adding greenhouse gases.
Mankins estimated that it would cost $10 billion over 10 years to mount a large orbital solar program – which seems like a lot until compared with the 40-year, $50 billion investment that the United States and other countries have poured into determining the feasibility of Earth-based fusion reactors.
National Space Society Chairman Mark Hopkins held a press conference this morning in which he unveiled more details of the Kalam-NSS Initiative, a joint U.S.-Indian effort aimed at building clean space-based solar power satellites.
Hopkins said that the program would combine American technology and low-cost Indian manufacturing to generate jobs and clean energy in both countries. A vibrant space solar power program would make the nations net energy exporters instead of importers.
The National Space Society will hold a press conference Thursday, November 4 at the National Press Club to reveal one of the first initiatives ever undertaken by a non-profit American organization and a former head of state. That initiative pairs India’s eleventh President, Dr. A.P.J. Kalam with Americaâ€™s National Space Society. Its name? The Kalam-NSS Energy Initiative.
The Kalam-NSS Energy Initiativeâ€™s goals? To solve the global energy crisis. To solve the global carbon crisis. And to solve Americaâ€™s next generation jobs crisis. How? By harvesting solar power in space.
* New orders totalling more than â‚¬8 billion * 11% increase in sales to over â‚¬4.8 billion * Astrium is developing new space based technologies for the environment
Paris, 19 January 2010 â€“ Astrium CEO FranÃ§ois Auque presented the companyâ€™s results for 2009 and its prospects for the coming year at the annual New Yearâ€™s press conference. In 2009 Astrium successfully delivered seven Ariane 5 launchers, which placed a total of 14 satellites in orbit and signed a contract worth more than â‚¬4 billion for a further 35 Ariane 5 launch vehicles. Launch highlights included the Herschel Space Observatory, the largest ever space telescope, the Hot Bird 10 broadcast satellite and the Amazonas 2 telecommunications satellite.
EADS Astrium develops space power concept BBC News
Europe’s biggest space company is seeking partners to fly a demonstration solar power mission in orbit. EADS Astrium says the satellite system would collect the Sun’s energy and transmit it to Earth via an infrared laser, to provide electricity.
Space solar power has been talked about for more than 30 years. However, there have always been question marks over its cost, efficiency and safety. But Astrium believes the technology is close to proving its maturity.
“Today we are not at an operational stage; it’s just a test,” said chief executive officer Francois Auque. “In order to implement a solution, of course, we would need to find partnerships and to invest, to develop operational systems,” he told BBC News.
The Sunday, Jan. 10, 2010 edition of the Space Show features Dr. Phil Chapman. Dr. Chapman is a former astronaut and scientist. We will be discussing SSP economics, the Copenhagen Climate Conference and SSP, and much more. The program will air at the usual Sunday time, 12-1:30 PM PST.
The Space Show with David Livingston Schedule for Week of December 7, 2009
Monday, Dec. 7, 2009, 2-3:30 PM PST: We welcome Samantha Snabes and Jason Aranha of the Go Boldly Campaign to the program. Go Boldly is a campaign started by a group of young professionals in the space industry to urge increased funding for NASA’s human spaceflight programs.
Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2009, 7-8:30 PM PST: Peter Sage joins us from Europe to discuss the commercialization and investment potential of space solar power.
Friday, Dec. 11, 2009, 9:30-11:30 AM PST : We welcome John Olds for the FastForward Group to the show to discuss point to point space transportation.
Sunday, Dec. 13, 2009, 12-1:30 PM PST. We welcome Dr. Ray Williamson, Executive Director of the Secure World Foundation, to the show.
CALIFORNIA PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION PRESS RELEASE December 3, 2009
The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) today approved a renewable energy contract for Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), furthering the state’s progress towards its renewable energy goals.
Through its power purchase agreement with Solaren Corporation, PG&E is entitled to generation from a first-of-its kind space-based solar project. The experimental technology uses orbiting satellites equipped with solar cells to convert the sun’s energy into electricity, which is then converted into radio frequency energy that can be transmitted to a local receiver station. Space-based solar power has been researched in the U.S. for several decades and this summer the Japanese government announced plans to pursue a space-based solar program.
Solaren to Close Funding for Space Solar Power Green Tech Media
The Manhattan, Calif.-based company, Solaren Corp., expects to close funding in less than two months to start developing the project in earnest, Spirnak told Greentech Media. He hopes to raise more than $100 million, the amount Solaren will need to validate its designs in the lab.