PARIS (ESA PR) — To prepare Europe for future decision making on Space-Based Solar Power, ESA has proposed a preparatory programme for Europe, initially named SOLARIS, for the upcoming ESA Council at Ministerial Level in November 2022.
Space-based solar power is a potential source of clean, affordable, continuous, abundant and secure energy. This basic concept has been given fresh urgency by the need for new sources of clean and secure energy to aid Europe’s transition to a Net Zero carbon world by 2050. If Europe wants to benefit from this game-changing capability then we need to start investing now.
ESA has undertaken two cost vs. benefit studies on “Space-Based Solar Power (SBSP) for terrestrial energy needs” together with Roland Berger and Frazer-Nash. These two studies were completed in August 2022 and you can read the full results on the ESA website.
PARIS (ESA PR) — Solar energy generation keeps on becoming cheaper and more efficient, but some basic limitations will always apply: solar panels can only generate power during the daytime, and much of the sunlight is absorbed by the atmosphere as it shines downward. So ESA is working on the concept of collecting solar power up in orbit, where sunlight is up to 11 times more intense than across European territory, then beaming it down to the ground for use.
As part of that effort, a new project looks into designing solar-power satellites, which would become the largest structures ever built in space. Frazer-Nash Consultancy will study the modular construction of solar-power satellites, to efficiently dissembling them as they come to their end-of-life for reuse or recycling.
Supported through the Discovery element of ESA’s Basic Activities, this project was initiated through ESA’s Open Space Innovation Platform, seeking out promising new ideas for space. Find out more about this and other recent OSIP activities here.
PARIS (ESA PR) — We urgently need solutions to tackle climate change on Earth. Meanwhile, the space sector is working hard to make space exploration more sustainable. ESA is targeting both ambitions by enabling European academia and industry to take further steps towards space-based solar power (SBSP).
KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. (AFRL PR) – The Air Force Research Laboratory’s and Northrop Grumman’s Space Solar Power Incremental Demonstrations and Research (SSPIDR) Project have successfully conducted the first end-to-end demonstration of key hardware for the Arachne flight experiment.
A ground demonstration of novel components for the “sandwich tile” were used to successfully convert solar energy to radio frequency (RF) – a fundamental step required to pave the way for a large-scale solar power collection system in space.
PARIS (ESA PR) — You spoke, we listened. Last September, we asked for your ideas for future space missions. Our goal was to tap into the insight, expertise and creativity of European citizens, companies and academia to help us plan for the future. Based on over 200 ideas, ESA Discovery & Preparation is now launching 11 new activities over the course of the coming year, that will together shape the future of space.
KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. (AFRL PR) – The Air Force Research Laboratory’s University Nanosatellite Program (UNP) has selected 10 universities to participate in the upcoming 2-year partnership to design, fabricate and test small satellites.
National Space Strategy sets out long-term plans to strengthen the UK’s status as a world-class space nation
New vision will help grow UK’s multibillion-pound space industry, boost private investment and capitalise on UK strengths such as satellite manufacturing
Brings together UK government civil and defence space activities to protect UK interests at home and abroad
LONDON (UK Government PR) — New plans to strengthen the UK as a world class space nation by firing up its multibillion-pound space industry have been set out in a National Space Strategy launched today.
From connecting people with their friends and family and monitoring climate to helping farmers to manage their crops, space plays a pivotal role in our daily lives, and is a vital part of the UK economy, worth over £16 billion per year.
WASHINGTON, August 5, 2021 (BEI PR) — Today the Beyond Earth Institute (BEI) is pleased to announce the unveiling of a Space Policy Directive (SPD) recommended for consideration by the US National Space Council, chaired by Vice President Kamala Harris, to promote the advancement and development of space solar power. Full text of the SPD can be downloaded here.
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.
Space Studies Institute Senior Adviser John C. Mankins has launched a KickStarter fund-raising campaign to fund a new high-quality, non-fiction book on space solar power. Mankins, an internationally recognized expert on the subject who is president of Artemis Innovation Management Solutions LLC, is attempting to raise $25,000 by Wednesday, June 27.
A brief summary of the project:
I propose to write and publish a high-quality nonfiction book on the topic of Space Solar Power — harvesting solar energy in space and delivering it via wireless power transmission to Earth as clean, affordable and sustainable electricity. The book would be intended for general and expert audiences, and depending on the pledge amount would be provided along with various additional information and items, including one or more videos. It would comprise technical, historical and policy related details, and would summarize the latest news in this unique field, including a transformational new SPS advanced concept: “SPS-ALPHA”. (At present, it is planned to be entitled “Space Solar Power & the SPS-ALPHA Concept,” although this may change…)
Please give what you can to help John reach his goal. Click here to donate. Time is short. Donate today.
NSS PR — Washington, D.C. — The National Space Society (NSS) will hold a press conference on November 14, 2011, from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., to announce the findings of a ground-breaking space solar power study conducted by the prestigious International Academy of Astronautics (IAA).
“With space solar power technology, energy can be collected from space and transmitted wirelessly anywhere in the world,” said Mark Hopkins, the leading Executive Officer of the National Space Society. “This technology could be the answer to our energy crisis. We look forward to sharing the results of the IAA’s study, and exploring the potential that space solar power has for creating thousands of green energy jobs,” he added.
This event is free and open to the public. Members of the press are encouraged to attend.
NSS PR — Dr. Rajeswari Pillai Rajagopalan, a Senior Fellow at Indiaâ€™s Institute of Security Studies, and Senior Fellow at Indiaâ€™s Observer Research Foundation, is urging the United States and India to jointly develop an energy alternative that can take us beyond nuclear technology.Â Events like the recent earthquake in Japan are causing many to rethink traditional energy sources.Â The energy alternative suggested is Space Solar Power (SSP).Â In the online Analysis publication of the Indian Observer Research Foundation, Dr. Rajagopalan writes, â€œWith the earthquake and the subsequent tsunami that hit Japan on March 11, isnâ€™t it time for India and the US to make serious commitments to Space-Based Solar Power?â€
Climate change and suborbital spaceflight The same day that commercial spaceflight supporters were celebrating the development of Spaceport America, a new study concluded that suborbital flights that facility will host could alter the planetâ€™s climate. Jeff Foust examines the latest research and some of the issues associated with the study. The mysteries of Titan Thirty years ago this week Voyager 1 made the first close flyby of Titan, Saturnâ€™s largest moon and one of the most intriguing worlds in the solar system. Andrew LePage recounts the research into Titan and the planning that led up to that encounter.
Space solar powerâ€™s Indian connection As the United States and India seek closer ties, should space-based solar power be on the agenda? Jeff Foust reports on developments in that field, including a new joint initiative supported by a former Indian president.
Tom Abate from the San Francisco Chronicle has an excellent overview of last weekend’s Space Studies Institute’s Space Manufacturing 14 conference that deals with space-based solar power and other ventures:
Today, said conferee John Mankins of Artemis Innovation Management Solutions, such arrays would be far more economic, thanks to efficiencies in everything from solar cells to rocket launchers – not to mention the environmental benefit of supplying electricity without adding greenhouse gases.
Mankins estimated that it would cost $10 billion over 10 years to mount a large orbital solar program – which seems like a lot until compared with the 40-year, $50 billion investment that the United States and other countries have poured into determining the feasibility of Earth-based fusion reactors.
National Space Society Chairman Mark Hopkins held a press conference this morning in which he unveiled more details of the Kalam-NSS Initiative, a joint U.S.-Indian effort aimed at building clean space-based solar power satellites.
Hopkins said that the program would combine American technology and low-cost Indian manufacturing to generate jobs and clean energy in both countries. A vibrant space solar power program would make the nations net energy exporters instead of importers.