It is an age-old reality that nations must be prepared to defend their assets. This reality is the same in space, where communications, weather, Global Position System, and eventually, solar power satellites provide critical services, and must be defended.
Winston Beauchamp, the Deputy Under Secretary of the Air Force for Space, and the director of the Principal Defense Department Space Advisor Staff said of the USAF’s commitment, “We have an obligation to provide, not just space resiliency capabilities for our defense space, but for this global commons.”
Thank you, Mr. Beauchamp, and your USAF colleagues, for having America’s back around the world, and in space.
On March 2, 2016, the Secretary of Defense, Secretary of State, and USAID director held a competition to uncover the very best ideas for improving planet Earth. Of over 500 ideas submitted, six teams were selected to present their vision for the future. The Space Solar Proposal Team won four of seven awards: Innovation, Presentation, Collaboration, People’s Choice.
Here is the winning D3 Space Solar Proposal (D3SSP) Presentation, presented by Dr. Paul Jaffe, Electronics Engineer and Integration and Test Section Head, U.S. Naval Research Laboratory:
Learn more about this winning proposal at the D3SSP website. There, you will be able to read about:
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.
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.
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”.
“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.
On June 17, 2008, Citizens for Space Based Solar Power submitted a Letter to Senator Obama, with the intent of making him aware of Space Based Solar Power and asking him to carefully consider making this technology a key aspect of his proposal for a clean energy future …
From its inception, one of the main goals of Citizens for Space Based Solar Power has been:
Elevate SBSP to the level of national discussion and influence government and industry leaders in the development and deployment of this potentially game-changing technology.
Now is the chance for your voice to be heard in the national conversation about Space Based Solar Power! Whether you are a supporter or a skeptic, now is your chance to be heard by the people who have it in their power to start Space Based Solar Power down the path to reality.