18 December 2010

Space Energy Reviews NSS-Kalam

From: http://www.spaceenergy.com/AnnouncementRetrieve.aspx?ID=61027#Kalam

Kalam-NSS Energy Intitiative and the Growing Indo-U.S. Strategic Partnership

In an unprecedented and historic move, the ex-President of India, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam has become the first Head of State to publically advocate the need for Space Based Solar Power as an achievable means to upgrading the living standard of the human race and providing a viable solution to the widening global energy gap.  He made the visionary citation during the announcement of the Kalam-NSS Energy Initiative, which, aims to become a platform upon which different nations will contribute different components, based upon their particular strengths and skills in respect of space based solar power.

This really signifies acceptance of the fact that the development of Space Based Solar Power is critical to all of humanity.  This isn´t about money, this isn´t about making the spreadsheets balance, this is about working towards solving some of the world´s most pressing issues - transitioning towards energy security for all nations; preventing resource wars; dealing with poverty and rural electrification; moving away from our reliance on fossil-fuels towards a solar-electric economy; preventing serious global climate change and pollution; and, reverting from short-term protectionism towards more open and longer term visions built on relationships of trust, participation, inclusion, respect and shared success.  The best, most efficient way to target global problems and achieve sustainable human development is with global responses.

In an excellent paper endorsed by the Kalam-NSS Energy Initiative, entitled “An International Preliminary Feasibility Study on Space Based Solar Power Stations,” R. Gopalaswami summarises the “state of play” for the US and India vis-à-vis space and energy – two critical topics that are typically not linked. The paper concludes with a focused proposal for an international, prefeasibility study of a revolutionary concept for sustainable, carbon-neutral global energy: space-based solar power.

The Kalam-NSS Energy Initiative has built upon the recent momentum towards the necessity of creating a strengthened U.S.–Indo strategic partnership as India´s emergence as a major global power changes the geopolitical landscape irreversibly.  A recent study by The Centre for a New American Security (CNAS) this October called for a “bold leap forward” in India-U.S. relations.  Entitled “Natural Allies: A Blueprint for the Future of U.S.-India Relations”, the high-level strategic document states that: “The recommendations in this report are based on the belief that the United States has an interest in working more closely with India and in assisting its further emergence as one of the world’s great powers.  This will require policy changes by both the United States and India.  Many of these changes will be difficult, and some differences may endure.  But the potential gain is worth the effort.  Now is a critical time in this partnership, a moment to transform past bilateral accomplishments into regional and global successes.  We urge American and Indian leaders to seize it.”

As reported in the September edition of Space Energy´s newsletter, Peter Garretson really gave the momentum a gargantuan shot in the arm with his excellent work in India and his strategic paper entitled “Sky´s No Limit: Space-based Solar Power, the next major step in the Indo-U.S. strategic partnership?” which was undoubtedly very influential to the CNAS report and ultimately the direction of US-INDO relations that have followed ahead.
As Dr. Feng Hsu contributes eloquently: “I wish that we could all work together to contribute in whatever way we can to ensure that the likelihood of the peaceful rise of the two major vibrant Asian nations (China and India) is maximized - in the course of a true globalization effort and in the build-up to sustainable human development (cultural & economic) in the 21st century!”

Perhaps it is not entirely coincidental that following from all the excellent progress at the strategic level of Space based Solar Power recently, NASA´s Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate has amended its “Opportunities in Aeronautics 2010” program to include a new Hypersonics Program, at the heart of which, they say, are requests for proposals about enabling technologies.  These include air-breathing access to space and entry, descent and landing of high-mass vehicles in planetary atmospheres.

Many commentators suggest that this is because there are people deep in NASA who do not want to be left out of this new wave of change at the dawn of the 21st century.  Furthermore, NASA is planning $7.5 million in study contracts, spread over 13 companies, over the next 6 months in response to the 2010 NASA Authorisation Act, which requires the agency to begin work this year on a vehicle capable of lifting at least 70 metric tonnes to LEO by 2016.

Following on the 8th of November, during U.S. President Obama´s visit to India as part of his Asian tour, he and Manmohan Singh, the Indian Prime Minister, announced initiatives including new research facilities on renewable energy, public health and civil nuclear security in the attempt giving further substance to the rhetoric of a 21st-Century partnership.

One of the most interesting aspects of this announcement was that the U.S. will finally relax restrictions (export controls) on space-related business with India.  As part of the agreement, the Obama administration will support India’s full membership in multilateral nuclear non-proliferation regimes and remove India’s defence and space organisations from the U.S. 'entities list', which restricts them from doing business with the U.S.

1 comment:

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