White House petition proposes space solar power as national energy and space goal

Courtesy KurzweilAI.net:

A petition to the White House to task the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy to examine space solar power (SSP) as a new energy and space goal for the U.S. has been posted on the White House WE the PEOPLE website, with a goal of 100,000 signatures by April 3, 2013.

The petition, initiated by SSP pioneer John C. Mankins, reads:

WE PETITION THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION TO:

Task the Office of Science and Technology Policy to examine Space Solar Power as a new energy & space goal for the US.

New concepts make it possible for solar energy to be harvested in space and delivered 24/7 to markets in the U.S. & globally. Space solar power (SSP) could supply vast new energy while addressing climate concerns.

SSP is now being pursued by other nations (e.g., China, Japan), and energy determines preeminence in space as on Earth.

But SSP falls between the charters of U.S. technology and space agencies (DOE, DOD, NASA), so it’s “no one’s job.” These agencies have existing responsibilities and stakeholders; they are not looking for new goals.

Only the White House (OSTP) working with Congress can change the policy gridlock in the U.S. and develop a plan to lead international R&D in this game-changing energy/space endeavor.

If you agree the U.S. should lead R&D on SSP, please support this petition.

“Harvesting solar power in space and delivering clean, inexhaustible energy to humanity has been a vision for more than 40 years,” Mankins, who is currently CTO of  asteroid mining company Deep Space Industries, explained to KurzweilAI. “Now, new technologies and new concepts exist that can transform this vision into a reality.

“Within a decade, perhaps less, the first solar power satellite made from mass-produced modules could be in operation, transforming everything we do in space and the future of energy on Earth. Space solar power is both technically feasible, and could be economically viable — but only if we act to make it so.”

NASA, international studies support SSP

Mankins headed two NASA studies of SSP. During 2011 — 2012, NASA’s Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) program supported a preliminary Phase 1 project to investigate a transformational new approach to the concept of SSP called the SPS-ALPHA, to deliver energy to Earth.

SPS-ALPHA would typically be based in a geostationary Earth orbit (GEO), where it would intercept sunlight using a collection of individually pointed thin-film mirrors, convert that sunlight into a coherent microwave beam and transmit the power to markets on Earth or in space.

And in 1995–1997, NASA conducted its Fresh Look study, a preliminary reexamination of the technologies, systems concepts and terrestrial markets that might be involved in future SSP systems.

A three-year, ten-nation study of space solar power in 2009–2011 by the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA), co-chaired by Mankins, found that SSP appears to be “technically feasible within 10–20 years using technologies existing now in the laboratory, and economically viable in the next 1–3 decades under several different scenarios for future energy markets, including potential government actions to mediate environment/climate change issues.”

Share:

Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest
LinkedIn
National Space Society

National Space Society

Leave a Comment

Search
Categories
future 1

Don't Miss a Beat!

Be the first to know when new articles are posted!

Follow Us On Social Media

JOIN THE
GREATEST ADVENTURE

Give The Gift Of Space: Membership For Friends and Family

Book Review

Archives

ISDC 2024:
A NEW SPACE AGE

International Space Development Conference May 23rd-26th, 2024

FEATURED BLOG

Image of Kalpana One space settlement courtesy Bryan Versteeg, spacehabs.com $32,000 in Cash Awards Given for Best Space-Related Business Plans — Deadline March 1, 2024

Category: Nonfiction Reviewed by: John J. Vester Title: Nuclear Rockets: To the Moon and Mars Author: Manfred “Dutch” von Ehrenfried Format: Paperback/Kindle Pages: 270 Publisher:

Partially Successful Flight Reached Space and Demonstrated New “Hot Staging” System The National Space Society congratulates SpaceX on the second test of its Starship/Super Heavy

Ad Astra, the NSS quarterly print, digital, and audio magazine, has won a 2023 MARCOM Gold Award. The awards are given yearly for “Excellence in

By Jennifer Muntz, NSS Member Coordinator On October 10th, an inspiring breakfast event took flight at the Center for Space Education at the Kennedy Space

By Grant Henriksen NSS Policy Committee Benefit sharing is a concept that refers to the distribution of benefits derived from the exploration and use of

People residing and working in space, space settlements, or on long-duration space flights will need to produce infrastructures and food to maintain healthy lifestyles. The

Image: Artist’s concept of the Blue Moon lander. Credit: Blue Origin. Second Human Landing System Contract Encourages Competition and Innovation The National Space Society congratulates