Pentagon Looking to Develop Space-Based Solar Power as SFF Pitches Idea to Obama

A couple of items on space solar power satellites. The military is interested, and the Space Frontier Foundation is promoting the idea as well.

Pentagon Eyes Orbiting Power Station
Aviation Week

“Military planners responsible for finding space resources to support troops on the ground think the time may be ripe to advance the 40-year-old space solar power concept to help reduce the logistics train behind forward-deployed forces.

“The end game needs to have a pilot plant in operation within 10 to 12 years,” said John Mankins, chief operating officer of Managed Energy Technologies and a longtime SSP advocate. “By pilot plant I mean a small but full-scale operational system delivering megawatts of power to the Earth.”

“The price tag would be relatively small by Pentagon standards, at least initially. Mankins estimates an end-to-end systems study, with some early lab work and low-cost flight-tests, would cost about $100 million and take about three years.”

Meanwhile, the Space Frontier Foundation has submitted a white paper to the Obama Biden Transition Effort. The non-profit group promotes space solar power as part of a balanced approach to dealing with the nation’s energy and security needs. SFF urges the next administration to appoint a lead agency for the effort. The transition team is now seeking public comment on the idea.