Thursday, April 10, 2008

Solar power satellite watch

Ad Astra profiles and interviews Peter Glaser, the visionary of space solar power:

At 84, Dr. Peter Glaser no longer travels the globe lecturing on the concept he first envisioned—the solar power satellite. From his home in Lexington, Massachusetts, Glaser seems perfectly at ease in knowing that others must now take his ideas forward into this century.

“I’m an old man now, and I don’t travel much,” he says. “All of my works and papers are in the collection at MIT. Besides, it’s not just about Peter Glaser any longer. People all over the world know about solar power satellites. It’s up to them to make it work for the whole world.”

He's a brilliant man, though I don't agree with this:

Ad Astra: Do you think the push to create space-based power systems should be spearheaded by the government or the private sector?
Glaser: Since it would be such a huge undertaking, I think it would be best accomplished at an international level, perhaps even managed by the United Nations.
If space solar power ever happens, it will likely result from some combination of national rivalries and private-sector competition. Having it managed by the U.N. will get us more Saddam Hussein food-for-oil palaces somewhere, this time with solar panels.

PDF of Ad Astra's space solar coverage here. Via Space Solar Power blog.

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