UK Government Commissions Space Solar Power Stations Research

Artist’s impression of how a space-based solar power station might work. (Credit: Frazer-Nash Consultancy)

Solar energy harvested in space offers the potential for an unlimited and constant zero carbon power source

SWINDON, UK (UK Space Agency PR) — The UK government has commissioned new research into space-based solar power (SBSP) systems that would use very large solar power satellites to collect solar energy, convert it into high-frequency radio waves, and safely beam it back to ground-based receivers connected to the electrical power grid.

It is an idea first conjured by science-fiction writer Isaac Asimov in 1941, and is now being studied by several nations because the lightweight solar panels and wireless power transmission technology is advancing rapidly. This, together with lower cost commercial space launch, may make the concept of solar power satellites more feasible and economically viable.

Now the UK in 2020 will explore whether this renewable technology could offer a resilient, safe and sustainable energy source.

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China’s Ambitious Plans to Dominate Cislunar Space

China’s Yutu 2 rover drives off the Chang’e-4 lander. (Credit: CNSA)

Continuing our look at the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission’s 2019 Report to Congress, we examine China’s plans to achieve a commanding position in cislunar space. [Full Report]

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

China is determined to establish a commanding position in cislunar space, seeing it as a strategic location from which to dominate the final frontier.

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Northrop Grumman, AFRL Partner to Provide Critical Advanced Technology in Space Solar Power

An artistic representation showcases the capture of solar energy in space that is precisely beamed it to where it is needed through the Space Solar Power Incremental Demonstrations and Research (SSPIDR) Project. (Credit: Northrop Grumman)

Project directly supports the Space Solar Power Initiative converting solar power in space to radio frequency on Earth.

FALLS CHURCH, Va. (Northrop Grumman PR) — Northrop Grumman is working with the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) on a project to rapidly infuse space technological innovations to incrementally develop component technologies needed for a prototype solar energy collection system.

The project is designed to provide constant, consistent and logistically agile power to expeditionary forces operating in unimproved areas such as forward operating bases. These forces require assured power that will be transmitted via radio frequency (RF) from spacecraft.

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Space Solar Power Team Breaks Through At D3 Innovation Summit

Paul Jaffe and Peter Garretson with awards. (Credit; NSS)
Paul Jaffe and Peter Garretson with awards. (Credit; NSS)

WASHINGTON, DC, March 7, 2016 (NSS PR) — The National Space Society congratulates the Space Solar Power D3 (SSPD3) team on sweeping the awards in a March 2 multi-departmental competition to find promising new technology ideas that could simultaneously advance diplomacy, defense and development (D3). The SSPD3 team proposal was titled “Carbon-Free Energy for Global Resilience and International Goodwill.”

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Space Solar Power Being Considered at High Level

nss_logoWASHINGTON, DC (NSS PR) — The National Space Society (NSS) congratulates the “Space Solar Power D3” team on making it to the winners circle in a Department of Defense (DOD) competition to find promising new technology ideas that could simultaneously advance diplomacy, development and defense. Space Solar Power (SSP) is among only six winners out of 500 entries for the DOD’s first innovation challenge for the D3 (Diplomacy, Development, Defense) Summit.

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Northrop Grumman, Caltech Sign Space Solar Power Agreement

Northrop_Grumman_logoPASADENA, Calif., April 20, 2015 (Northrop Grumman PR) — Northrop Grumman Corporation (NOC) has signed a sponsored research agreement with the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) for the development of the Space Solar Power Initiative (SSPI). Under the terms of the agreement, Northrop Grumman will provide up to $17.5 million to the initiative over three years.

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NSS Launches New International Space Solar Power Initiative

Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam and NSS Chairman Mark Hopkins discuss joint statement at the 2013 International Space Development Conference. (Credit: NSS)
Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam and NSS Chairman Mark Hopkins discuss joint statement at the 2013 International Space Development Conference. (Credit: NSS)

Washington, DC, June 10, 2013 (NSS PR) — National Space Society (NSS) today announces a new space solar power international initiative. NSS endorses this initiative and will work to forge an international organization involving America, India and other nations to develop space solar power. This has the potential of solving humanity’s energy needs and greatly mitigating climate change.

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New Petition to White House Seeks SSP Study

A new petition on the White House’s website was created today concerning space solar power.

We petition the Obama Administration to: commission a study to determine if Space Solar Power is a viable middle- to long-term solution for energy independence.

Space Solar Power would be extremely expensive to realize. That’s the down side. The up side is it scales indefinitely – once you have a single one Gigawatt SPS power plant installed, the second one costs substantially less. It would create an exponential growth in an energy source with potential long term yield far in excess of the current world consumption of energy. In other words – anything on a planetary surface will run in to yield limits, and fundamentally constraint economic growth.

Anything in space would pose no such constraint. Add one in year one – add two in year two. Add four in year three. That is an exponential output growth. It would solve a LOT of problems, and we need a study making the potential insightful.

The stakes are clearly VERY high.

Click here to sign it.











SSI Space Manufacturing 14: Space Solar Power and Energy Systems

Session 6: Space Solar Power and Space Energy Systems
Chair: Dr. Philip K. Chapman

Space Solar Power – Achievable Within a Generation?
John Mankins, Artemis Innovation Management Solutions LLC

Towards an Early Profitable Powersat
Al Globus, San Jose State University Research Foundation

Impact of Lunar Volatiles: New Opportunities for Exploration and Infrastructure Development on the Moon
Edward McCullough, McCullough Innovations & Consulting

Making it Happen
Dr. Philip K. Chapman, Consultant, Energy and Astronautics

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PowerSat Files for Patent App for Space Solar Power Technology

PowerSat's plans for beaming energy from space
PowerSat's plans for beaming energy from space

PowerSat: Space Solar Flies Closer to Earth
Earth2Tech.com

Solar from space: It may sound like a bad sci-fi movie, but a growing number of companies think it could solve the world’s energy crisis. Among them is Everett, Wash.-based PowerSat Corp., which said today it’s filed a provisional patent for two technologies it claims could help make the transmission of solar power from space more cost-effective.

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Space Review Looks at Space Tourism, Civil Space, Solar Power

XCOR's Lynx suborbital vehicle
XCOR's Lynx suborbital vehicle

In The Space Review this week….

  • Jeff Foust looks at progress in both suborbital and orbital space tourism.
  • John McGowan questions whether the private sector can afford the breakthroughs needed for affordable orbital travel.
  • Dwayne Day looks at where U.S. civilian space policy is heading (first of two parts).
  • Taylor Dinerman argues that India and the United States should work together to develop space-based solar power solutions.
  • Jeff Foust reviews a book that looks at what China and India are up to in space.












Critical Space Solar Power Technology Demonstrated

NSS PRESS RELEASE

John C. Mankins, former manager of NASA’s Exploration Systems Research and Technology Program, and one of the foremost experts on space solar power, will announce on Friday a milestone demonstration of the critical technology enabling SSP: long-distance, solar-powered wireless power transmission.

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