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.
… solar satellites provide Earth with unlimited, clean power …
I literally fell off the couch when I heard these words coming from my television yesterday. I replayed this Boeing TV spot several times, with goosebumps on my arms. For the first time, I was hearing the game-changing idea of space-based solar power on national television, as a future reality.
The Boeing Company is celebrating their first 100 years in July of 2016. Congratulations on their upcoming anniversary, and on their innovative outlook for the next 100 years that includes space based solar power!
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:
About the idea of space-based solar power, Goswami writes:
Could this idea be as revolutionary as the Wright Brothers’ paper plane that gave us modern aviation? Perhaps!
In the rest of the article, Goswami does a good job of explaining the fundamental principles behind space-based solar power, and then she goes on to talk about Japan, China, and India already being heavily invested in the development of space-based solar power.
As noted in a 2008 C-SBSP post, 21st Century Space Race, our nation is once again behind, and once again in a position to catch up. It is a race we must lead, and if not win outright, at least cross the finish line arm-in-arm with our friends and allies.
While business commitments caused me to put my advocacy for space-based solar power on hold for the past few years, affirmatively answering a personal request from U.S. Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Peter Garretson to re-energize my advocacy efforts has brought Citizens for Space Based Power back online.
Today, rather than mourn the final chapter of NASA’s Space Transportation System (STS) program, I choose to look to the future of America’s continuing, global leadership as a spacefaring nation. Whether it be the establishment of a permanent lunar outpost, manned missions to Mars, mining of near earth objects, the establishment of space-based solar power satellites, or all of the above and beyond, the next chapters in America’s exploration of space will definitely inspire many generations of our citizens, both young and old.
I was under the flight path of the Space Shuttle Endeavour OV-105 this morning, as it passed over Redwood City, California. The Endeavour, atop the specially outfitted 747, had flown over the Golden Gate Bridge and was on its way to a low flyover of Moffett Field, in Mountain View, to honor the employees and their families at NASA’s Ames Research Center.
The Endeavour was built to replace Challenger, and from 1992 to 2011, flew a total of twenty-five missions. The Endeavour’s final destination is the the California Science Center in Los Angeles, California.
Every form of energy we have can eventually be traced back to the Sun. Space based solar power solves the on/off problem of terrestrial solar power, and could be delivered nearly anywhere on the planet 24/7/365. These characteristics make space based solar power a virtually unlimited, clean baseload power source.
Currently, payload launch-to-orbit costs are the single biggest hurdle to developing and deploying space based solar power. While it would be a massive and complex engineering project, no basic science breakthroughs are needed before space based solar power could be implemented.
Space based solar power is not a short-term solution to our energy needs. Domestic fossil fuel resources would provide a “bridge” to its eventual implementation … but fossil fuel will be a “bridge to nowhere”, unless we start developing space based solar power very soon.
Citizens for Space Based Solar Power*
*I’m a purely self-appointed advocate, and I have no financial stake in space based solar power. I simply believe that it will eventually be the solution to our energy future.