Constellations, Launch, New Space and more…
“power beaming”
Exploring the Moon Using Beamed Light Energy
Artist concept of Light Bender. (Credits: Ronald Neale)

NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) Phase I Award
Funding: up to $125,000
Study Period: 9 months

Light Bender
Charles Taylor
NASA Langley Research Center
Hampton, Va.


Light Bender is a novel concept for the generation and distribution of power on the lunar surface within the context of the Artemis mission and the “Long-Term Human Lunar Surface Presence” that will follow. The innovative concept is based on a heliostat that utilizes Cassegrain telescope optics as the primary means to capture, concentrate and focus the sun’s light.


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  • March 15, 2021
NRL Power-beaming Demonstrated on International Space Station
NASA astronaut Jessica Meir demonstrates how the LEctenna™, a light-emitting rectifying antenna constructed by the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, converts electromagnetic waves into electric current on the International Space Station. Similar technology could be used on the Earth’s surface to convert electromagnetic waves beamed from space-based solar arrays. (Credit: NASA)

WASHINGTON (NRL PR) — International Space Station astronaut Jessica Meir completed the first U.S. Naval Research Laboratory power-beaming demonstration in orbit February 12, 2020, using relatively simple components suitable for STEM activities.

Meir showed how NRL’s LEctenna™, a light-emitting rectifying antenna, converted a wireless network signal, similar to home networks, into electric power. While the current generated and light emitted was a small amount, the setup proved the concept in space.


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  • May 21, 2020
NIAC Award: Power Beaming for Long Life Venus Surface Missions

Power beaming for long life Venus surface missions (Credit: Erik Brandon)

NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) Program
Phase I Award: Up to $125,000 for 9 Months

Power Beaming for Long Life Venus Surface Missions
Erik Brandon
NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

A new approach to support long duration Venus surface missions will be investigated, which will address the difficult challenge of surface power generation in such an extreme environment. The key mission concept centers on the use of a dual vehicle architecture—one vehicle is a high altitude platform that provides power generation in the more forgiving upper atmosphere of Venus, the other vehicle being a lander that stores and uses the generated power to execute the mission. These two spacecraft (and spacecraft functions) are tied together via an innovative power beaming system.


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  • April 26, 2019
LaserMotive to “Ride the Light” With NASA

SEATTLE, WA–(LaserMotive PR – Oct 6, 2011) – LaserMotive, an independent R&D company specializing in laser power beaming and winner of the 2009 NASA sponsored Power Beaming Competition, today announced it is one of the companies named to work on the new NASA “Ride the Light” project, one of the space organization’s new space technology projects in the Game Changing Technology division to pursue revolutionary technology required for future missions.

“The technologies pursued in this effort have the potential to revolutionize both space launch and on orbit operations, we are happy to be working with LaserMotive and all of our partners to make power beaming a reality,” said Charles Taylor of NASA.


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  • October 6, 2011
NASA Funds “Game Changing” Power Beaming Project, New Space Battery

NASA PR — WASHINGTON — NASA has selected two game-changing space technology projects for development.

The space agency has awarded approximately $3 million for concept studies to eight companies for the “Ride the Light” concept, which seeks to provide external power on demand for aerospace vehicles and other applications. NASA also has selected Amprius Inc. of Menlo Park, Calif., to pursue development of a prototype battery that could be used for future agency missions.

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  • September 17, 2011
Space Access ’11: Aye Matey, ‘Tis the KC Space Pirates!

KC Space Pirates Frank Smith Work on laser power beaming Some of power beaming money won by LaserMotive Power Beaming competition — still has $1.1 million remaining – only 1 team (LaserMotive) can compete in terms of cable climbing KC Space Pirate’s laser provider decided to sell its laser to someone else for $1 million — won’t let them borrow it About $1 million short of a new laser Officials […]

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  • April 8, 2011
Diamadis: X PRIZE Looking at Asteroid Deflection, Beamed Power and Martian Life

Although I was not able to attend this year’s International Space Development Conference (ISDC) in Chicago, I have been able to follow it via Twitter. X Prize Foundation Founder Peter Diamandis gave a presentation earlier today in which he outline the projects that his non-profit group wants to fund. Tweets from Robin Snelson and Donnie Lowther: @DKLowther Diamandis: Beamed Power Launch X Prize; Asteroid Deflection X Prize–concept; Orbital Debris Removal […]

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  • May 27, 2010
LaserMotive Names President, Vice President

LaserMotive Press Release
Feb. 18, 2010

LaserMotive, an independent R&D company specializing in laser power beaming technology, has announced the appointment of company co-founder Tom Nugent as President and technology industry veteran David Bashford as Vice President of Operations.


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  • February 19, 2010
Space Elevator Games Postponed Indefinitely By Technical Problems



The Space Elevator Power Beaming Challenge Games originally scheduled for this summer at NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center have been postponed. The Spaceward Foundation conducts this prize competition as part of NASA’s Centennial Challenge Program. The challenge this year requires teams to demonstrate devices that can climb a one-kilometer vertical cable using electrical power transmitted via a laser.


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  • July 30, 2009
Centennial Challenges Schedule

A schedule for NASA’s Centennnial Challenges program has been released, beginning with the power beaming competition this July at the Dryden Flight Research Center in California.


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  • June 2, 2009