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.
Author of: The Genius of the Beast: A Radical Re-Vision of Capitalism (“an extraordinary book, exhilaratingly-written and masterfully-researched. I couldn’t put it down.”) James Burke; The Lucifer Principle: A Scientific Expedition Into the Forces of History (“mesmerizing”-The Washington Post); and Global Brain: The Evolution of Mass Mind From The Big Bang to the 21st Century (“reassuring and sobering”-The New Yorker), and How I Accidentally Started The Sixties (“a monumental, epic, glorious literary achievement.” Timothy Leary).
Former Core Faculty Member, The Graduate Institute; Former Visiting Scholar-Graduate Psychology Department, New York University. Founder: International Paleopsychology Project; Founder, Space Development Steering Committee; Founder: The Group Selection Squad; Founding Board Member: Epic of Evolution Society; Founding Board Member, The Darwin Project; Member Of Board Of Governors, National Space Society; Founder: The Big Bang Tango Media Lab; member: New York Academy of Sciences, American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Psychological Society, Academy of Political Science, Human Behavior and Evolution Society, International Society for Human Ethology, Scientific Advisory Board Member, Lifeboat Foundation; Advisory Board Member: The Buffalo Film Festival. Special advisor: Retirement Investment Industry Association.