20 thoughts on “Space Solar Power”

  1. Is it ambitious? I keep hearing how space based solar power is super easy, barely an inconvenience.

    1. Is it ambitious? I keep hearing how space based solar power is super easy, barely an inconvenience.

      This promoted by the same group that also champions its competing renewable technology; space-based wind power?

    1. To be fair, if you were quickly building a 100 second generation Saturn V’s, you would likely see significant cost improvement. That’s a lot of economy of scale for starters.

      1. Money doesn’t really matter. It isn’t a business but rather an ideological expenditure.

  2. IMHO, the Chinese aren’t quite stupid enough to spend what it would take to do what they claim.

    I suspect they have other things in mind, such as a power transmission system – lasers, to be exact. At the very least, a space-based laser array with plenty of power would make one heck of an ASAT system.

    1. ASAT? Hell, it would make a phenomenal anti-personnel and anti-ground infrastructure weapon. The radar on a MiG-25 was so powerful that it would kill rabbits at the far end of the runway, so pilots were forbidden from turning it on while on the ground. It might have had an intensity of a few kilowatts per square meter.

      With a phased array broadcast system, on a powersat of vast aperture, it would be possible to bring down megawatts per square meter, and steer the spot around at very high speed. Fires started by it (or existing) would instantly result in converting the air
      to plasma, and not a “cold” plasma. It would destroy everything it touched.

      The power grid, and every electronic device (even if not connected to the grid) would be destroyed when the spot passed over any part of it. Anything normally shielded would survive (cars, SCIFs, etc), but to what end?

      There is no defense against this, other than having the means to quickly destroy the broadcasting powersat. That would be difficult. The only saving grace is that the Chicoms would have to walk the powersat to within an effective attack latitude, something that would take a long time, and couldn’t go unnoticed. But the deep state would likely just deny that anything was amiss, until the moment the destruction began all around us.

      This can’t be allowed to happen.

        1. Latitude is also correct. Like all such plans, they intend to put in GEO, so it would be locked to a particular latitude, almost certainly over China. That would still let them blast anything in east Asia.

          But of course once they’ve got one built, they’d be offering systems to countries around the world as an excuse to station such systems for worldwide coverage.

          Taking out such a system would probably be easy, however, because you could just launch a rocket on a retrograde GTO trajectory with a perigee that intercepts the Earth’s atmosphere, and have it dispense a bunch of BB’s on the way out, shredding the SPS system will only making one return scatter shot at anything in LEO.

          1. I’m thinking a much better way to deal with the issue, would require a space treaty modification, or if in an act of self-defense maybe not.

            You redesign the peanut shaped W80 so that the secondary in not encased in a U238 tamper but rather a beryllium one shaped with longitudinal channels in perhaps a more teardrop shape to focus both hard and soft x-rays before it becomes a plasma. It won’t fill space with hazardous debris but by careful energy focus will pretty much destroy any workable junctions in a PV array.

            Such designs were worked out in the 70’s by Sam Cohen but not intended for a focused beam for use in space, Teller near the end of his life touched on that topic as part of the SDI.

  3. You know, what about the opposite? Instead of beaming power down, how about beaming power up? What if I had cheap electricity available in orbit without having to engineer the complexities of in-space PV silicon or thermal electric or even a space-born nuclear reactor? Instead, just hang an antenna in space and get what I need from easy to maintain facilities on the ground?

  4. “The project, according to Long, would begin with a small-scale electricity generation test in 2022, leading to a megawatt-level power generation facility around 2030.

    Commercial, gigawatt-level power generation would be realized by 2050”

    I guess you could then move to the lunar orbit.
    But it would cheaper put in a lunar orbit, rather a GEO orbit, first.

    Hmm why a bunch satellites, they store solar power for couple hours and beam the energy within 15 mins of time. So 100 km by 800 km lunar orbit and beam energy when nearest the lunar surface.
    So hundreds of satellite and at any time 10 beaming energy of lunar surface. Beaming into some dark lunar crater.
    So some horde of starlink type satellites which altered for some purpose. Say you just want to heat the lunar surface.
    Or instead storing energy, they could reflect sunlight.
    If you could “order” square meters of sunlight somewhere on lunar polar region, how much would pay for it to be right location and time, per hour per square meter and per watt of sunlight.
    It might simpler of at polar region and had 14 days of night as you in other area of Moon.
    So say equator of Moon for some reason and you have solar arrays not getting sunlight at night- and could get sunlight at night.
    At lunar polar region one get at one spot 80% sunlight and one could dozen spots not getting sunlight 20% of time. And one could reduce dozen spots get 90% rather 80% of time with sunlight.
    If charging $50 per kw hour, could you not pay $49 kW hour of sunlight you are now getting to make this Kw hour of electrical power that get $50 Kw hour if delivered?

  5. The Chinese Communist Military Space Battle Station Red Dragon is being built under (well, over) our very noses..

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