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Solar Space

Solar Space: The New Frontier

Harnessing solar power from space and delivering it to the earth, sounds like science fiction, but it is moving closer to science fact.

Tony DeTora, Co-founder and Vice President for Policy Coherence at Beyond Earth Institute and John Mankins, adviser to NASA and CalTech's Jet Propulsion Laboratory discussed the commercial development of space solar power with the Foreign Press Association’s President Ian Williams.

The Beyond Earth Solar Power project plans to use a solar harnessing satellite and large ground stations (around 6 kilometers in diameter) to receive microwave energy signals. The energy transmitted would then be converted to electrical energy to power homes and businesses using existing infrastructure.

The low cost zero carbon emissions energy would be available 24/7. With dramatic reductions in the cost of space launches and the growing ability to create space technology at scale, Mankins makes the case that solar power satellite systems are a possible solution to the world’s need for sustainable energy.

The project plans to launch its first pilot project by the end of the decade and from there scale to 1 GW plant, providing energy at commercially competitive prices. DeTora details the policy changes required to make the project possible.

Watch the discussion here:

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