Sunday, November 13, 2011

A limitless power source for the indefinite future

Kurzweil Blog

  • The basic concept, invented in the late 60s by Dr. Peter Glaser of Arthur D. Little: a large platform, positioned in space in a high Earth orbit continuously collects and converts solar energy into electricity.
  • Its findings include:  Space solar power appears to be technically feasible within 10–20 years using technologies existing now in the laboratory;
  • It appears to be economically viable in the next 1–3 decades under several different scenarios for future energy markets, including potential government actions to mediate environment/climate change issues;
  • Low-cost Earth-to-orbit transportation systems appear to be technically feasible during the coming 20–30 years using technologies existing in the laboratory now;
  • Flight experiments are needed, and policy-related and regulatory issues must be resolved.
  • “Without any doubt the components technology for space solar power as well as various system concepts have been developed and tested successfully,” says Dr. Neville I. Marzwell, NASA-JPL Advanced Concepts and Technology Innovation Manager (recently retired).
  • Space-based solar power is a technologically ready path over the wall to sustainable high tech civilization on Earth

Why launch from the ground when it is a lot easier to launch from the moon?  Most of the materials needed to make the solar panels are available on the lunar surface.  It only lacks a will to do the project.

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