Saturday, November 19, 2011

Space Based Solar Power Findings Finally Released

The US based National Space Society (NSS) and Space Canada, an Ontario based not-for-profit organization advocating space based solar power, are jointly trumpeting recently released findings on what they call a "ground-breaking space solar power study," according to the November 15th, 2011 post on the NSS blog titled "National Space Society Hails Space Solar Power Study Findings."

But of course, the real story isn't so much related to the findings (which were perilously close to being preordained given the longtime public advocacy of the major contributors) but instead involve the potential for international political advocacy that follows from a public report which collects together most of the major literature into a single, referenced document.

According to the press release, this three year, ten nation study, titled "Space Solar Power — The First International Assessment of Space Solar Power: Opportunities, Issues and Potential Pathways Forward,” confirms the "possible" readiness of using space solar power technology within the decade.

The study was conducted by the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) and co-chaired by John Mankins, a longtime space solar power advocate and the President of ARTEMIS Innovation Management Solutions.

Most of the Canadian contributions came out of the 2009 Space Canada Symposium on Solar Energy from Space, which included presentations from Dr. Richard Peltier, the Director of the Centre for Global Change Science at the University of Toronto; Dr. Robert Zee, the Managing Director of the Space Flight Laboratory at the University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies; Dan Fortin, the General Manager of IBM Canada; Liberal MP and ex-astronaut Marc Garneau; CBC radio Quirks and Quarks host Bob Macdonald and quite a few others.

According to Colonel M.V. "Coyote" Smith, the Director of the US Air Force Center for Strategy and Technology Project Blue Horizons and a Professor of Strategic Space Studies at the US Air Force School of Advanced Air and Space Studies (SAASS):
The long view for Space-Based Solar Power is to develop it into a global wireless power transfer system using the concepts Nikola Tesla demonstrated even before the turn of the 20th Century. 

With investments made now, at the turn of the 22nd Century a system of SBSP Satellites on orbit will broadcast safe, clean, electrical energy directly to all devices, vehicles, homes, and businesses on the planet — wirelessly. No wars for energy, plenty of power for desalination, a cleaner environment, fair resource sharing on the planet, and a thriving space economic sector. 

Isn't this what government and industry should be working for?
It's taken the major players three years to get to this point. It will be interesting to see their next step. 

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