01 November 2010


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Ram Narayanan 
Date: Mon, Nov 1, 2010 at 10:55 AM

Dear Friends:

On October 10, 2010, I had sent you a message titled, "A POSSIBLE BIG TICKET ITEM FOR THE OBAMA VISIT."

It had focused on a landmark 160-page paper on "Sky’s no limit: Space-based Solar Power, the next major step in the Indo-US Strategic Partnership," published by India’s Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA).

According to the Washington-based National Space Society, the paper was sponsored by the US-based Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), and represents 16 months of in-country research by a member of the National Space Society, Peter Garretson, to examine the possibilities of Indo-US cooperation in space and renewable energy.

The paper "examines the relevance of Space-Based Solar Power, a highly scalable, revolutionary, renewable energy technology in the context of the Indo-US strategic partnership. After providing an overview of the concept and its significance to the compelling problems of sustainable growth, economic development, energy security and climate change, it evaluates the utility of the concept in the context of respective Indian and US political context and long-term energy-climate trajectories. The paper examines multiple models of potential cooperation, and ultimately concludes that a bilateral initiative to develop Space-Based Solar Power is highly consistent with the objectives of the Indo-US strategic partnership, and ultimately recommends an actionable three-tiered program to realize its potential."

Gary Barnhard, Executive Director of the National Space Society, said, "This is a serious effort to articulate an agenda for Indo-US strategic partnership in space cooperation, clean energy, and climate change. This is a truly ambitious proposal that could top the Indo-US ’123’ civil nuclear deal in scope and significance. It’s timing right before President Obama’s visit could not be better, and we hope those developing his agenda are paying attention. Our hat is off to IDSA and CFR for sponsoring such visionary work in the policy realm that is likely to advance the interests of the United States, India, and the world. We are taking its recommendations very seriously in formulating our own initiative."
This is to alert you to a major press conference scheduled for, Thursday, November 4, 2010 hosted by the National Space Society (NSS) at the National Press Club to reveal one of the first initiatives ever undertaken by a non-profit American organization and a former head of state. That initiative pairs India’s eleventh President, Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam with America’s National Space Society. Its name? The Kalam-NSS Energy Initiative.

The press conference will be held at the National Press Club, 529 14th St. NW, 13th Floor, Bloomberg Room in Washington DC. It will begin at 9:30 AM and conclude by 11:00 AM.

Free continental breakfast will be available

A quote that Dr. Kalam, former President of India, wrote for the press conference is given below. Dr. T. K. Alex and John Mankins will be participating in the press conference via speaker phone from India and California respectively. They will both be making statements and answering questions. It has just been announced that Dr Abdul Kalam will also be present by phone.

Dr. T. K. Alex is the Director of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) Satellite Centre, Bangalore. The most important project that was led by him was Chandrayaan-1, the first Indian mission to the Moon, which resulted in the famous discovery of water on Moon’s surface. Now he is guiding and directing the development of Chandrayaan-2 and sixteen new Indian satellites.

John Mankins is the world’s leading expert on Space Solar Power (SPS). He was in charge of the last major study of SPS by America’s National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
I am told all are welcome to the press conference. If you live in or near Washington DC, you may be interested to join in at this important press conference. Please also forward this message to your friends and relatives who live in the area.

If you have any questions, please contact Gary Barnhard at 202-420-1600 or
Additional details are furnished below along with the quote Dr Kalam wrote for the press conference.

Ram Narayanan
US-India Friendship 

The Kalam-NSS Energy Initiative 
The Kalam-NSS Energy Initiative’s goals? To solve the global energy crisis. To solve the global carbon crisis. And to solve America’s next generation jobs crisis. How? By harvesting solar power in space.

Mark Hopkins, the CEO of the National Space Society, says, "The Kalam-NSS initiative is a transformative idea that can upshift the US and Indian economies by meeting the urgent global need for a scalable, carbon-neutral, green, 24-hr renewable power source. It is a game-changing technology that addresses energy security, sustainable development, climate change, and multinational cooperation."

Energy and India are hot topics. President Barack Obama is meeting with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh November 7th and 8th. The two are committed to joint research and development on energy issues. The National Space Society and former Indian President Dr. Kalam believe that Obama and Prime Minister Singh should adopt space solar power as one long-term answer to their nations’ needs. To that end, the next step in the Kalam-NSS Energy Initiative will be a National Space Society joint Indian-American conference on space solar power at the Von Braun Center in Huntsville, Alabama, May 18-22.

Space solar power has the potential to reverse America’s half a trillion dollar a year balance of payments deficit and to generate a new generation of American jobs. Why? Space solar power is a source whose basic technology is already here. The United States has been harvesting solar power in space and transmitting it to Earth since 1962, when Telstar, the first commercial satellite, went up. That satellite, Telstar, looked like a beach ball encrusted with square medallions. The medallions were photovoltaic panels. And India has been harvesting solar energy in space since 1975, when its first satellite, Aryabhata A, went into orbit. Every square centimeter of Aryabhata’s exterior was tiled with solar panels. Today harvesting energy in space and transmitting it to Earth is a quarter of a trillion dollar industry…the commercial satellite business. You use solar energy harvested in space when you watch soccer games from other continents, when you tune into satellite TV or satellite radio, when you use the Global Positioning System (GPS), when you consult the pictures in Google Earth, and when you use your cell phone.
Concludes Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, "I am convinced that harvesting solar power in space can bring India and United States of America together in whole new ways. And I am certain that harvesting solar power in space can upgrade the living standard of the human race." 

The NSS Press Conference Announcement
The Kalam-NSS International Preliminary
Feasibility Study on Space Based Solar
Power Stati

Our Vision for this unique initiative, now emerging from India and the United States, the largest and oldest democracies in the world, is for all nations of the world working together to enhance the quality of human life, inspire the spirit of space exploration, expand the horizons of knowledge, and ensure space security for all nations of the world. I am of the view that the present capabilities of major space faring nations are not optimally utilized. The launch vehicles of the world, the spacecraft of the world, the application potential of the world, the space scientific research potential of the world and above all the huge costs envisaged for long term space programmes would call for a "paradigm shift" in nations to work together to bring the benefits of space to humanity as a whole. This is possible, as my experience suggests, only if we have strong cooperation of each nation contributing substantially in technology and resources.

The constraints on growth of electric power capacity like land availability, water and fuel supply chains (for coal as well as nuclear power) and silting of dams etc, are among the major factors that have, so far, limited power capacity growth world-wide, and India with its large population is among those significantly concerned. I have been discussing with leaders, professionals and common citizens in India and various parts of the world on this serious issue of energy. When I was recently in USA, whether it was in Arkansas, Houston, Kentucky or Washington DC, it was apparent that energy independence is a key focus. Both developed countries and developing countries, while trying to overcome deficits in energy, are also discussing at public policy and implementation levels, as to how to intensify research and development on renewable energy systems. This is not only from the point of view of energy availability but also from the view point of a sustainable environment.

In India, the need for space based solar power stations was identified as far back as 1993. Since then, indeed earlier from 1987, work has been carried out in India on advanced space transportation system design concepts for affordable space solar power. ISRO (Indian Space Research Organization) have recently carried out some preliminary concept studies on Space Solar Power and examined three SSP configurations. ISRO has also welcomed an International Preliminary Feasibility Study.

In the USA, by 1995, NASA took a “Fresh Look” at Space Solar power, in the light of several advances made in systems architectures, solar cell weight and efficiency, light weight array structures. They concluded that the technology state-of-art was adequate to establish cost-effective SSP systems.

By 2050, even if we use every available energy resource we have, clean and dirty, conventional and alternative, solar, wind, geothermal, nuclear, coal, oil, and gas, the world will fall short of the energy we need by 66%. There is an answer. An answer for both the developed and developing countries. That is a solar energy source that is close to infinite, an energy source that produces no carbon emissions, an energy source that can reach the most distant villages of the world, and an energy source that can turn countries into net energy exporters.

I am convinced that harvesting solar power in space can bring India and United States of America together in whole new ways. And I am certain that harvesting solar power in space can upgrade the living standard of the human race. Hence, the Kalam-NSS Energy Initiative, to benefit the world community.
27th October, 2010
A P J Abdul Kalam
New Delhi

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