23 November 2007

Space Solar Makes the WSJ!

http://blogs.wsj.com/informedreader/2007/11/21/a-second-look-at-solar-energy-from-space/ says the followin:

A Second Look at Solar Energy From Space
Rising energy prices and environmental concerns have revived interest in an energy project often contemplated and often dismissed since the 1960s: placing gigantic solar panels into orbit. The idea’s continued appeal, explain Dan Cho and David Cohen in the New Scientist, lies in how much more of the sun’s energy can be captured from space than from earth (subscription required). Without clouds, nights or the atmosphere, a solar panel in space could generate 20 times as much electricity as it could on average at ground level. The electricity could then be transported back to Earth by beaming it in microwaves to receiving stations equipped with special antennas.
NASA canceled a project looking into a space solar panel in 2001. But, following technological advances that could reduce the costs of the project, there are some signs of renewed interest, including a large conference in May on the topic at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The Pentagon has also expressed interest in developing the concept on a small scale, as a way to provide energy to its remote military bases.
The most research into the technical problems has been conducted in Japan, which depends on foreign sources for most of its energy, has few natural resources, and is keen to cut carbon-dioxide emissions. The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, or JAXA, and Japan’s Ministry of Economy Trade and Industry are funding a $12 million space-solar-panel project. Even factoring in the energy used for construction, Masahiro Mori, a director at JAXA, estimates a space-based solar power station would create six times the energy of an earth-based one. — Robin Moroney

Hopefully Robin Moroney will write a follow up article width details on the $12 Million METI project.

19 November 2007

Check out this Video of new Space Solar Power Satellite!


Google Lunar X-Prize features Space Solar Power

Check out this inspirational speech:
And the beautiful vision of Space Solar Power Satellites in their video:

NSSO Releases Space-Based Solar Power Study!

Those interested in Space Industrialization, Clean Energy, Environmental Security & Global Warming, Global Sustainable Economic Development will find this a very interesting study:
The study used a number of experts, and even featured a public blog:

But don't expect any immediate action...sources say that some forces and other space agencies within the administration and USAF think it is too far out and competes with the current vision for exploration. Word is the NSSO took heat for "stepping out of its lane" to consider such global issues.

In Marked Contrast...

In contrast to NASA's reluctance to step outside manned and robotic exploration, DOD has long had voices calling it to take leadership in Planetary Defense:

Most recently:

From as far back as Feb 2000:

A high-ranking U.S. Military official -- speaking in a non-official capacity -- says the hunt for potentially Earth-threatening space rocks should be more centralized, and the Department of Defense could be a primary force behind this project.
Pete Worden, deputy director for Command and Control at the U.S. Air Force Headquarters in the Pentagon, suggested an array of micro-satellites should be used to find and study Near Earth Objects -- asteroids and comets known as NEOs -- in an effort to save money and speed up the search process.

And even before that in:
France Article (Contains specific Legislative proposals):
Nici/Kaupa Article:


Other links of interest:

Report to congress:
AOA behind the Report as posted by NASA:
AOA behind the report as posted by B612 Foundation
Know what to do, don't have the Money:
http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/science/20070305-1432-killerasteroids.html AIAA Position Paper:

NASA drops the ball on Planetary Defense

See the testimony for how NASA failed to comply with the congressional tasking to provide a recommendation.