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.

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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:

Tom,

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.

powering_the_planet

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.

Allianz Knowledge Website – Comment Posted

07/08/2008 Update: My comment was indeed published on the Allianz Knowledge website, below the article titled “Solar Energy Profile: Straight from the Source“.


This afternoon, I posted the following comment on the Allianz Knowledge website, in a section on Energy and CO2 at the end of an article titled “Solar Energy Profile: Straight from the Source“. A quote from the main website stated “Allianz Knowledge focuses on Climate Change, Microfinance, and Demographic Change. These topics are vital to our business – and to our world.” I found the website to have a great deal of information regarding the energy situation we face.

I will let you know if I hear back from the website’s editors and if they decide to publish some or all of my comment.

My Comment:

Our Sun is ultimately the source of all forms of energy we consume. Solar power is nearly a direct form, while fossil fuels took as long as 400 million years to collect and convert the Sun’s energy that they store.

I am a self-appointed advocate for the immediate and large scale development of space-based solar power. Large solar panels would be put into orbit, where they would receive intense sunlight 24/7/365. This energy would be beamed to receiving antennas (rectennas) on earth in the form of electromagnetic radiation at frequencies that would not be hampered by clouds or dust in the atmosphere. This energy would be converted to conventional electricity and connected directly to the existing power grid for distribution.

This will be a complex and expensive engineering project with many beneficial offshoots in terrestrial alternative energy and space exploration technologies. I have much more information and many links on a website titled Citizens for Space Based Solar Power (c-sbsp.org).

While this idea has existed since the 1960’s, it is very disappointing that space-based solar power isn’t at least a part of the worldwide conversation on moving our energy outlook towards a sustainable future.

Best regards,

Rob Mahan
Citizens for Space Based Solar Power

Ad Astra Special Report – Space-Based Solar Power

Ad Astra ("to the stars"), the award winning magazine of the National Space Society (NSS), has recently published a special report covering space-based solar power (SBSP). This richly illustrated special report explains the technologies behind SBSP in an easy to understand way. Included is a fascinating conversation with Dr. Pete Glaser, now 84 and considered the father of the space-based solar power concept.

A large portion of the special report details the efforts of the Space-Based Solar Power Study Group who, in conjunction with the National Space Security Office (NSSO), published Space-Based Solar Power As an Opportunity for Strategic Security – Phase 0 Architecture Feasibility Study in October of 2007.

This special report includes the following five articles which discuss the potential for space-based solar power, with looks at its history, its current strategic importance and ways forward to make it a reality.

  • ENERGY FROM ORBIT – John C. Mankins
  • AN ENERGY PIONEER LOOKS BACK – William Ledbetter
  • STRATEGIC IMPORTANCE – Space-Based Solar Power Study Group
  • A NEW COALITION – Arthur Smith
  • ON THE MOON – Al Globus

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