Space solar power could be a clean, renewable solution to America's long-term energy needs. John C. Mankins, former manager of NASA's Exploration Systems Research and Technology Program, and one of the foremost experts on space solar power, will announce on Friday a milestone demonstration of the critical technology enabling SSP: long-distance, solar-powered wireless power transmission.
The project demonstrated wireless power transmission between two Hawaiian islands 148 kilometers apart, more than the distance from the surface of Earth to the boundary of space.
It will be featured in an hour-long special that evening on Discovery Channel as part of DISCOVERY PROJECT EARTH, an eight-part series on the most ambitious geo-engineering ideas to tackle global climate change and the need for new and sustainable energy sources.
Space-based solar power, in which large satellites would collect plentiful solar energy in orbit and beam it safely down to Earth, could one day reduce our carbon emissions to virtually zero. It is the only energy technology that is clean, renewable, constant and capable of providing power to virtually any location on Earth.