Space Solar Power Looks For Shortcuts

By Frank Morring, Jr.
Source: Aviation Week & Space Technology

October 22, 2012

As commercial space transportation companies make their first tentative steps toward a low-Earth-orbit economy, looking for the killer app in microgravity that will make them rich, an almost limitless supply of wealth streams continuously through the Solar System, showing up at Cape Canaveral and Wallops Island, Va., and the wide open spaces of Mojave, Calif., every day at sunrise.

Advocates of space solar power (SSP) continue to refine their ideas for harnessing the Sun’s energy, beaming it to Earth and plugging it into the power grid. The benefits are obvious—a clean source of energy that can power the planet’s infrastructure without relying on the dwindling fossil reserves that drive the often-savage global economy we have today. Less obvious are the obstacles, but papers presented at the 63rd International Astronautical Congress in Naples, Italy, this month indicate some very good minds are at work on the problems, with some very interesting results.

Read more: Space Solar Power Looks For Shortcuts — Aviation Week & Space Technology.

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