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Ad Astra

The magazine of the
National Space Society

Volume 20, Number 1
Spring 2008

Featuring a Special Report on
Space-Based Solar Power
[1.5 MB PDF]

Return to
Back Issue Index

On The Cover: A solar power satellite orbits 22,240 miles above the Earth, collecting the sun’s energy and transmitting it safely to the surface in this illustration from artist Kris Holland.

Additional information on Space-Based Solar Power is available on our website.

Featured Articles:

Note: The entire Special Report on Space-Based Solar Power (comprising the first five articles listed below) is available as a PDF file [1.5 MB]. The links below provide additional information.

18
ENERGY FROM ORBIT
The technology now exists to place great orbiting platforms in space, where they can capture solar energy and redirect it to receivers the size of airports on Earth.
By John C. Mankins

26
AN ENERGY PIONEER LOOKS BACK
The man known as the “father of solar power satellites” reflects on the beginning of it all. An interview with Dr. Peter Glaser.
By William Ledbetter

28
STRATEGIC IMPORTANCE
Solar power from space can help keep the peace on Earth.
By the Space-Based Solar Power Study Group—the Caballeros
See the full report on Space-Based Solar Power As an Opportunity for Strategic Security

32
A NEW COALITION
The NSS announces the Space Solar Power Alliance.
By Arthur Smith
Correction for end of article on page 33: Gen. Armor is called a "past president" instead of "former director" of NSSO.
Longer version of this article with complete audio of press conference

34
ON THE MOON
Lunar materials can play a major role in the development and launch of solar power satellites.
By Al Globus

38
50 AND COUNTING
NASA celebrates five decades and Ad Astra joins in with a timeline that includes landmarks in NSS history.
By Katherine Brick, Marianne Dyson, David Brandt-Erichsen, and Mark Hopkins

46
MIXED SIGNALS FOR ARECIBO
The world’s largest radio telescope is still vital 45 years after it began operations.
By Joan C. Horvath


Departments:

9
LETTER FROM HEADQUARTERS
Priorities for 2008
By George Whitesides, NSS Executive Director

11
LETTER FROM THE EDITOR
Looking Up
By Mark Mayfield

13
NSS ANNOUNCEMENTS

14
SPACE SETTLEMENT
Space Settlement Broadly Defined
By Mark Hopkins

51
LETTER FROM THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
Space & Energy: A Catalyst for Creating a Positive Future
By Gary Barnhard, Chairman of the Executive Committee

52
SPACE POLICY
Promises and Perils of Political Prospects
By Greg Allison, Chair of the Policy Committee

54
PROFILE
David Brandt-Erichsen
Getting the Word Out Worldwide

56
BOOKS
The Lunar Exploration Scrapbook by Robert Godwin
Reviewed by Allen G. Taylor
Live from Cape Canaveral by Jay Barbree
Reviewed by Robert Z. Pearlman

60
CHAPTER LISTINGS

64
SIGNING OFF
The ESA’s Columbus Lab in space at last


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