Monday, March 24, 2014
Space solar power, Navy edition
I noticed this a few days ago: "The Navy's Plan to Beam Down Energy from Orbiting Solar Panels." I've been reading and writing about space solar power for a solid 20 years now--ever since I was reporting an article for Insight magazine on commercializing space and happened to interview Peter Glaser, visionary of the idea. At first, I wasn't sure he wasn't pulling my leg or perhaps crazy as he spoke about beaming solar power down from orbit. Further research confirmed this is a serious idea, albeit a technically and economically challenging one. Here are some pieces and posts I've written involving the subject over the years. I recommend keeping an eye on space solar power--as something that might become important to the world environment and economy--and as one of the various areas in which current categories of left and right might blur or swap as advanced technologies become feasible. I could imagine a pro-solar right and anti-solar left a couple of decades from now, as this technology's military relevance and sheer bigness makes it a progressive bugaboo. Or maybe conservative talk radio will be warning that the government is building a capacity to incinerate its opponents from orbit.