From Sci-Fi to Reality – Discover the Promise and Potential of Space-Based Solar Power
By Dan Mitchell
The Space Solar Power Project is a research initiative led by the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) that aims to collect solar power in space and wirelessly transmit it to Earth through microwaves, providing a continuous source of clean energy that is unaffected by weather or time of day.
Sound farfetched? You don’t know the half of it. Keep reading!
The Space Solar Power Project has received significant funding from various sources, including a $100 million investment from Donald Bren and his wife Brigitte and partnerships with industry and academic partners such as the Northrop Grumman Corporation and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. These collaborations are helping to drive scientific and technological innovations necessary to make space solar power a reality in the near future.
The Future Was Invented In The Past
Solar power collection and wireless transmission from space was first envisioned by Isaac Asimov in 1941, and in 1968, American aerospace engineer Peter Glaser published the first technical article on the concept. NASA technical reports indicated that the concept was technically feasible in the 1970s, but it was economically unrealistic at the time.
And Then Some People Stepped Up
In May 2013, Donald Bren and his wife Brigitte made a $100 million investment that helps form the Space-based Solar Power Project (SSPP). In April 2015, a research agreement between the Northrop Grumman Corporation and Caltech provided up to $17.5M for the development of scientific and technological innovations necessary to enable a space solar power system.
Three Caltech professors now jointly lead the project: Harry Atwater, Ali Hajimiri, and Sergio Pellegrino.
This Could Be Really, Really Good News For Humanity
The Space Solar Power Project represents a promising step towards a more sustainable and energy-efficient future. With the potential to provide a continuous source of clean energy unaffected by weather or time of day, space solar power could help reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and mitigate the effects of climate change. Recent technological advancements and lower launch costs make this ambitious project more feasible than ever.
As we continue to invest in scientific research and technological innovation, we can look forward to a brighter and more sustainable future for generations to come.
Scientists Invent Solar Panels That Provide Wireless Energy From Space
The Space Solar Power Project at Caltech