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JSUCamel
06-13-2010, 11:08 PM
http://www.disinfo.com/2010/06/buzz-aldrins-answer-to-the-louisiana-oil-spill/

Howard Bloom, one of the stars of the Disinformation TV Series, sent us this press release:

Buzz Aldrin, the second man to set foot on the moon, has proposed an answer to the Louisiana oil spill. It’s solar energy harvested in space, known in the space community as Space Solar Power.

“The timing of the oil catastrophe,” says Aldrin, “is a great opportunity for re-evaluating solar energy from space.”

We’ve been harvesting solar power in space and sending it to Earth since 1962, when the first commercial satellite, Telstar, was launched and began transmitting energy harvested by the solar panels studded all over its beach-ball-like surface. Today, the space solar power harvesting business is a quarter of a trillion dollar industry. We call it “the commercial satellite industry.” That industry uses space solar power transmitted to earth for everything from satellite radio and television to direction finding via GPS.

The Japanese space agency, JAXA, has committed $27 million to space solar power and has plans for a satellite capable of powering 300,000 homes. JAXA says it has the backing of 15 other nations in its effort. And Russia, China, and India are all working on space solar power development.

Says Howard Bloom, head of The Space Development Steering Committee, “Space solar power means no more Louisiana oil spills. No more carbon in the atmosphere. No more nuclear waste. No more energy wars. No more nations hogging resources and driving up prices. And no more villages in the hinterlands of Africa and Asia kept in poverty by the cost of running landlines hundreds of miles to reach them.”

There are currently four American commercial companies seeking capital to make space solar a reality: Solaren, the Space Island Group, Space Energy Inc, and Managed Energy Technologies LLC. One of those firms, Solaren, has a power purchase agreement with the California’s Pacific Gas and Electric and anticipates being able to begin delivery of solar power from space by 2016.

Take the load off the earth. Drill up not down. Space Solar Power.

Thoughts?

Ivhon
06-13-2010, 11:31 PM
Id love to see it be a viable alternative. Im rather skeptical though, as there is already a dangerous amount of orbiting debris (small screws traveling at orbital velocity do tremendous damage) up there. Sending the number of satellites necessary to make a meaningful impact on energy production would almost certainly result in a few destroyed satellites....which would make more orbiting debris...which would damage/destroy more satellites...making even MORE debris....up to the point where you cant send anything up there anymore at all.

Call me paranoid.

EDIT: on the flip side, we have GOT to get on the ball on alternative energy. By subsidizing the 20th century energy source to the detriment of the 21st, we are risking our energy and financial future. Oil will run out. Whoever comes up with the next thing is going to be the dominant economic power for the next 100+ years. I worry and suspect with our continual pandering to an outdated but powerful lobby that it will be China that finds the answer, not us.

Crispin's Crispian
06-14-2010, 12:21 PM
I was thinking along the same lines as Ivhon. It's a great idea in theory, but I think it would be pretty difficult in practice. Then again, we get satellite transmissions all the time with little or no interruption. It's just that the power or resources required to make a meaningful energy impact may be too much relative to the resources required for, say, television.

But I'm not an engineer.

Brita
06-14-2010, 01:06 PM
Not that I know anything at all about space exploration and activity, but it seems it is inevitable we will have to consider how we will keep the space around our planet relatively clean. At some point, this space junk will have to be taken care of if we want to keep advancing at the pace we are. And there is a lot of potential that wew ill simply ruin for ourselves if we don't minimize our damage in the process.

I know, I know- just look around. But I would like to think we will advance as a species and start to take a little more responsibility for the health of our environment, it is only in our best interest.

Sinistrum
06-14-2010, 01:25 PM
I'd personally like to see us go after the massive amounts of this and increase funding towarding development of it as an alternative energy source.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helium-3#Power_generation

But I guess Obama has other ideas aside from the one the Chinese are currently working toward with their space program.

JSUCamel
06-14-2010, 02:22 PM
Not that I know anything at all about space exploration and activity, but it seems it is inevitable we will have to consider how we will keep the space around our planet relatively clean. At some point, this space junk will have to be taken care of if we want to keep advancing at the pace we are. And there is a lot of potential that wew ill simply ruin for ourselves if we don't minimize our damage in the process.

I know, I know- just look around. But I would like to think we will advance as a species and start to take a little more responsibility for the health of our environment, it is only in our best interest.

Oddly enough, this just showed up on Wired.com today:

http://www.wired.com/magazine/2010/05/ff_space_junk/

It's a multi-page story (and quite a good read) so I won't link to it right now, but basically this guy named Kessler predicted the space-junk crisis and now, having been vindicated (NASA didn't really believe him 30 years ago), is basically leading the charge to clean up our orbiting space junk. Some good ideas out there.

Weird Harold
06-14-2010, 02:58 PM
Thoughts?

We’ve been harvesting solar power in space and sending it to Earth since 1962, when the first commercial satellite, Telstar, was launched and began transmitting energy harvested by the solar panels studded all over its beach-ball-like surface. Today, the space solar power harvesting business is a quarter of a trillion dollar industry. We call it “the commercial satellite industry.” That industry uses space solar power transmitted to earth for everything from satellite radio and television to direction finding via GPS.

There is a fairly signifficant difference between the pico-watts required to feed the amplifier in a satellite receiver and the kilo-watts (or giga-watts) required to power a home (or city)

It is possible, in theory to collect solar-power in space and transmit it to earth via high-energy microwaves but every serious proposal I've seen has been for a focused microwave beam aimed at a fixed base on the ground -- the equivalent of a large grid substation -- so that the minimum amount of power is lost to the conversion to and from microwaves.

I've never thought it would be a viable means of solving the energy crisis because of the size of orbital collectors and the necessary power level of the microwave laser (or MASER). Position a receiver station in a migratory flyway, and it will be pelted annually with roast geese as the birds fly through the beam of a gigawatt MASER. The occasional civil aviation aircraft might also rain down if the venture into the necessary no-fly zone over each receiver.

If these companies are talking about powering civilization with free power broadcast from the way satellite TV and telphone service is delivered, they're con-artists. Collecting enough eneergy from a diffuse broadcast signal to power even a GPS or flashlight would either require huge antennas or dangerousy high ambient power levels.

Crispin's Crispian
06-14-2010, 03:03 PM
There is a fairly signifficant difference between the pico-watts required to feed the amplifier in a satellite receiver and the kilo-watts (or giga-watts) required to power a home (or city)

It is possible, in theory to collect solar-power in space and transmit it to earth via high-energy microwaves but every serious proposal I've seen has been for a focused microwave beam aimed at a fixed base on the ground -- the equivalent of a large grid substation -- so that the minimum amount of power is lost to the conversion to and from microwaves.

I've never thought it would be a viable means of solving the energy crisis because of the size of orbital collectors and the necessary power level of the microwave laser (or MASER). Position a receiver station in a migratory flyway, and it will be pelted annually with roast geese as the birds fly through the beam of a gigawatt MASER. The occasional civil aviation aircraft might also rain down if the venture into the necessary no-fly zone over each receiver.

If these companies are talking about powering civilization with free power broadcast from the way satellite TV and telphone service is delivered, they're con-artists. Collecting enough eneergy from a diffuse broadcast signal to power even a GPS or flashlight would either require huge antennas or dangerousy high ambient power levels.
Sowatcher saying is we just need a really long cord?

Brita
06-14-2010, 03:05 PM
Great article- thanks Camel!

Davian93
06-14-2010, 03:17 PM
There is a fairly signifficant difference between the pico-watts required to feed the amplifier in a satellite receiver and the kilo-watts (or giga-watts) required to power a home (or city)

It is possible, in theory to collect solar-power in space and transmit it to earth via high-energy microwaves but every serious proposal I've seen has been for a focused microwave beam aimed at a fixed base on the ground -- the equivalent of a large grid substation -- so that the minimum amount of power is lost to the conversion to and from microwaves.

I've never thought it would be a viable means of solving the energy crisis because of the size of orbital collectors and the necessary power level of the microwave laser (or MASER). Position a receiver station in a migratory flyway, and it will be pelted annually with roast geese as the birds fly through the beam of a gigawatt MASER. The occasional civil aviation aircraft might also rain down if the venture into the necessary no-fly zone over each receiver.

If these companies are talking about powering civilization with free power broadcast from the way satellite TV and telphone service is delivered, they're con-artists. Collecting enough eneergy from a diffuse broadcast signal to power even a GPS or flashlight would either require huge antennas or dangerousy high ambient power levels.

Is the Space Weapons treaty still in effect? It would likely (read: definitely) violate that if so.

Sei'taer
06-14-2010, 05:01 PM
I think this kind of goes right along with your story, Camel.

Airborne wind turbines (http://news.discovery.com/tech/airborne-wind-turbines-lift-off.html)

Bryan Blaire
06-14-2010, 11:05 PM
Says Howard Bloom, head of The Space Development Steering Committee, “Space solar power means no more Louisiana oil spills. No more carbon in the atmosphere. No more nuclear waste. No more energy wars. No more nations hogging resources and driving up prices. And no more villages in the hinterlands of Africa and Asia kept in poverty by the cost of running landlines hundreds of miles to reach them.”

To sum up a lost post: Clearly this guy doesn't understand how the world really works. Energy isn't the only resource involved. And I'm still wondering how the hell he plans on producing all those electronics without TADA oil.

I'd love to see better energy sources, however, it would be nice if the heads of what appear to be scientific groups would have more sense in what they say.