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.

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.

Space Energy TEDx London – Presentation by Peter Sage

This 18 minute TEDx London presentation by Peter Sage of Space Energy presents current information on just about every aspect of Space Based Solar Power. Although my usual sources have been quiet lately, apparently there is a lot still going on towards launching this game-changing and unlimited source of clean, available baseload power.

Click here to watch the video.

Solar Power Satellites Issue – Online Journal of Space Communication

This Issue #16 – Solar Power Satellites is the most comprehensive set of articles I have seen in one place addressing all aspects of space-based solar power.

“In this issue, the Journal advances the proposition that the next generation of satellite services will be to gather sun’s energy in space and to deliver it to earth as a clean and sustainable source of electrical power. In the 21st century, the need for alternatives to the burning of fossil fuels to generate electricity has become so great that space is now a real option.”

Ralph Nansen, author of ENERGY CRISIS: Solutions from Space, and former Manager of the Solar Power Satellite Program for The Boeing Company is the guest editor for this edition of the Online Journal of Space Communication.

Mars Methane Highlights Energy Potential of Space

STRATFOR Podcast (January 16, 2009 | 0534 GMT)

Large quantities of methane have been detected on Mars. Scientists from NASA report today that the gas could be coming from geological activity or by life on the planet.

STRATFOR’s founder, Dr. George Friedman, author of The Next 100 Years, talks to Colin Chapman about the prospects of energy from space.

Listen to Podcast here (MP3 format)

Dr. Friedman predicted that space-based solar power would be the world’s primary source of energy within the next 100 years in video posted earlier on c-sbsp.org here.

Hot, Flat and Crowded

I received Thomas L. Friedman’s book Hot, Flat and Crowded for Christmas. I am about half way through it and one particular paragraph prompted me to post the following comment on his website under the topic Making Clean Energy Work:


I am on pages 186-187 of Hot, Flat and Crowded in the section Clean Electrons. Your most powerful paragraph in the book so far begins with the sentence “No single solution would defuse more of the Energy-Climate Era’s problems at once than the invention of a source of abundant, clean, reliable, and cheap electrons.” You go on to list many of the currently intractable global problems that a source of abundant, clean, reliable, and cheap electrons would solve. In the next paragraph, you state that “no one has yet come up with a source of electrons that meets all four criteria: abundant, clean, reliable and cheap.”

As a self-appointed advocate, I believe that space-based solar power has the potential to meet all four of the criteria you set out. Space-based solar power is the 24/7/365 collection of solar power by satellites in geosynchronous orbit which convert and beam it to receiving antennas (rectennas) anywhere on the face of the planet to be distributed to end users by either the existing electrical grid or by wireless power transmission. On a large enough scale, such a system would give humankind direct access to unlimited clean, reliable and ultimately cheap electrons.

The idea of space-based solar power, patented by Dr. Peter Glaser in the 1960’s, was last reviewed in depth in a 2007 study sponsored by the Pentagon’s National Security Space Office. Most recently, the Space Frontier Foundation submitted a white paper to the Obama Transition Team which was subsequently posted by them for public comment.

Here are some sources where you and your readers can learn more about the potential game-changing technology of space-based solar power:

Space Based Solar Power – a public discussion

Citizens for Space Based Solar Power

Space Solar Power (SSP) – A Solution for Energy Independence & Climate Change – (Obama Transition Team website)

I invite you and your readers to learn more about Space Based Solar Power and, if you reach the same conclusions about its tremendous potential that I have, become advocates to have this potentially game-changing technology added to America’s system of solutions for a clean energy future for the entire planet.

Best regards,

Rob Mahan: Citizens for Space Based Solar Power

George Friedman on SBSP During “The Next 100 Years”

George Friedman, founder of the private intelligence firm Stratfor, has written a book titled The Next 100 Years. In the following video summary of the book at about the 1:50 mark, Friedman predicts that space-based solar power will be one of two dominate forces that will shape global warming. He also predicts that the United States will become the major source of energy for the entire world.

Powering the Planet – The Futures Channel

The Futures Channel has produced a 19 minute video to assist teachers in helping students begin to gain an understanding of the science, technology, engineering, math, energy, policy, environmental factors, and more involved in making Space Based Solar Power a reality.  Students who are  informed will be able to participate in and influence the debate over Space Based Solar Power.


Source: The Futures Channel

Long Range Wireless Power Transmission Demonstrated

The Discovery Channel aired Orbital Power Plant on September 12, 2008. (Unfortuntely, I have been unable to find a link to original video. If you know how this show can be viewed online, please let me know.)

Orbital Power Plant was one installment of the eight part Discovery Project Earth series on ambitious geo-engineering projects aimed at solving climate change and sustainable energy problems. John Mankins, a former 25-year career scientist NASA and CalTech’s JPL, teamed up with Discovery Channel scientists and engineers to demonstrate the following technologies which are fundamental to the ultimate success of Space Based Solar Power.

  • Increasing the efficiency of PV cells with Fresnel lenses
  • Measurements of solar radiation at high altitude using a weather balloon
  • Short range wireless power transmission
  • Long range wireless power transmission

The long range wireless power transmission was successfully demonstrated between two Hawaiian islands, a distance of approximately 148 kilometers, simulating passing a power-carrying microwave beam through the thickness of the Earth’s atmosphere. While a very small amount of power was transmitted and detected, Mankins stated that only budget and FAA restrictions prevented a higher power demonstration.

You can read a complete account by Jeff Foust of The Space Review, titled A Step Forward for Space Solar Power.