NSS To Premiere IAA Study of Space Solar Power

Space Solar Power

The First International Assessment of Space Solar Power:
Opportunities, Issues
and Potential Pathways Forward

IAA Study of Space Solar Power

Recently, a member of the National Space Society Board of Directors informed Citizens for Space Based Solar Power of the following:

“On 14 November the National Space Society (NSS) will premier the 3-Year, 10-Nation, International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) Report on Space-Based Solar Power.”

From the IAA website: “Now, more than ever, large-scale and sustainable new energy sources are needed to meet global needs while satisfying environmental concerns. . . . During 2008-2010, the first international assessment of space solar power was conducted by a study group under the auspices of the International Academy of Astronautics.” The study contains the following major sections:

1. Introduction
2. Solar Power Satellite Systems Concepts
3. SPS Supporting Systems
4. Technology Readiness And Risk Assessment
5. SSP / SPS Policy And Other Considerations
6. SPS Market Assessment and Economics
7. Preliminary Systems Analysis Results
8. An International Roadmap for Space Solar Power
9. Conclusion: Findings And Recommendations

The full text of the 242-page report can be accessed here.

The following is a 41-minute presentation from the International Space Solar Power Symposium at the National Space Society 2011 International Space Development Conference (ISDC) of a draft report of the study, Space Solar Power: The First International Assessment of Opportunities, Issues, and Potential Pathways Forward by John C. Mankins (Artemis Innovation). Mankins is the Chair and Editor of the study.

C-SBSP Gets New Theme

It’s time to say goodbye to the original Andreas09 theme, below, and say hello to the fresh new Twenty Eleven theme. I hope this cosmetic update makes new posts and the overall site easier to read and makes it easier to get the word out about space-based solar power and all of the possibilities it represents.

Previous C-SBSP Theme Andreas09

NASA’s New Goal Should Be Space Based Solar Power

NASA’s new overarching goal should be to lead the joint public-private development and deployment of space-based solar power as a baseload power source. It’s a goal that would encompass many other technologies (non-rocket launch methods, AI-based robotic assembly in space, mining of lunar and NEO resources, lunar base operations, energy conversion and transmission methods, etc.) and inspire young people get advanced educations and be a part of making the planet a better place for everyone, much like the Apollo program did.

The unique aspect of NASA adopting space-based solar power as an overarching goal is that the long-term result would be a revenue positive system owned and operated by the United States of America. We would become a net exporter of clean, virtually unlimited energy.

Prohibitive launch costs are cited as the primary roadblock to space-based solar power today. Let’s come up with an elegant solution, such as a mass driver launch system initially powered by terrestrial solar power and eventually powered by the first space-based solar power satellite. It’s a positive upward spiral. The more power available, the more payload put in orbit and assembled into additional satellites resulting in more power available … and repeat. Once such a self-proliferating system harvests more energy than it uses, the excess energy can be directed into existing or new distribution grids.

New Solar Energy Conversion Process?

“Stanford engineers have figured out how to simultaneously use the light and heat of the sun to generate electricity in a way that could make solar power production more than twice as efficient as existing methods and potentially cheap enough to compete with oil.”

Vodpod videos no longer available.

An Energy-Independent Future – The Daily Show with Jon Stewart – 06/16/2010 – Video Clip | Comedy Central

While this video from Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show is satirizing the government rhetoric regarding the need for an energy-independent America, it points out a sad trend. For generations, our politicians have paid the topic of energy independence lip service when it has been politically expedient but have done little of any substance to advance towards achieving this critical national goal.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Citizens for Space Based Solar Power Sees 10,000 Visits

Since it’s inception in late 2007, shortly after the release of the National Security Space Office “Space‐Based Solar Power
As an Opportunity for Strategic Security – Phase 0 Interim Assessment Study
“, Citizens for Space Based Solar Power has received over 10,000 visits.

I hope this milestone is an indication that more and more citizens are becoming aware of space-based solar power and that we as the United States of America are moving closer to launching a major, multi-generational effort to develop and deploy this game-changing and necessary technology.

Ted Talk: Bill Gates on Energy

Link to original Ted Talk if the video above does not play.

Dear Bill,

I am very pleased to learn about your involvement in the energy future of our planet. I agree that clean, affordable and available energy is the overriding issue for the future development and well being of the entire human race.

My wish is that you will take a serious look at space-based solar power. I believe it can be a game-changing base load power source. When funded, developed and deployed at the required scale, space-based solar power addresses your requirements for zero carbon emissions, ease of distribution, relatively small earth footprint and zero waste generated.

Uranium is a finite resource, though longer range than conventional fossil fuels. Space-based solar power can provide energy to the earth until the sun burns out.

The website Citizens for Space Based Solar Power is one of many places to begin a review of the current state and potential for space-based solar power. You could be the voice this technology has been seeking.

Sincerely,
Rob Mahan

Aviation Week Article on SBSP

European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS) subsidiary Astrium is seeking to scale up ground based demonstrations by getting public agencies and corporations interested in funding an orbital demonstration project. The company is projecting having a 10-20KW demonstrator in orbit, perhaps on the International Space Station, within five years. Astrium engineers are focusing on using infrared lasers to beam the collected energy back to the surface instead of the more traditional microwave beam approach.

This isn’t the first time Aviation Week & Space Technology has reported on space-based solar power, but it is the first time in a while and it may signify an up-tick in activities around the world.

Read the Aviation Week article by Michael A. Taverna published in the January 25, 2010 issue here.

I’ll make my plea once again … U.S. government agencies and private corporations must get on the space-based solar power development path soon or we will be left playing catch-up once again. It seems to me that Lockheed Martin Corporation is the perfect United States’ answer to EADS-Astrium’s efforts on the European continent.

SBSP on George Friedman’s Agenda

STRATFOR’s founder and CEO George Friedman discusses the push for space-based energy infrastructure after EADS, Europe’s largest space company, announces plans to launch a test satellite with solar panels. Friedman also predicted that space-based solar power will be the planet’s primary source of energy sometime in the next 100 years in his latest book by the same title … “The Next 100 Years”.