New York Times, NPR, and EDN Debate Space-Based Solar Power
Posted by Coyote on August 6, 2008
One of our heroes, O Glenn Smith, has picked up the torch for space-based solar power and is doing all he can to get the word out and to stimulate research and development. He hit two very major news outlets in the same week!
He an I have enjoyed a couple of very interesting discussions about various opportunities to use the International Space Station for some bits and pieces of the research. I think thats a great idea; every little bit helps.
To provide a sort of balance to the discussion, on 25 July 2008, Paul Rako, the Technical Editor for EDN (Electronics, Design, Strategy, News) wrote a piece titled “Solar Power in Space, A Really Stupid Idea” in response to Glenn’s NY Times article. It is the most scathing review of the concept of space-based solar power I’ve ever seen. In a nutshell, he thinks it’s a veiled attempt to build some sort of weapon. Fair enough. He’s just now learning about the concept and spent only a few hours browsing before writing his article.
Don’t miss the opportunity to read the comments from the bloggers that appear below the article. Some are precious. By the way, keep in mind that a simple inspection of the transmitting antenna can quickly verify that the energy beam cannot be narrowed into a weaponizable configuration.
Let’s be clear on this point; we are pushing for the production of all forms of safe, clean energy in order to prevent energy wars in the future. We’re a bunch of space savvy citizens from many different sectors, but we’re trying to do our part to solve the energy and environmental problems we face while trying to give direction to our space policy and provide real goals to our educational programs. Space-based solar power is one of the things we can do that addresses all of that. We also want these systems to be owned and operated by companies, not governments. That way space becomes an even larger part of our normal, everyday economic environment.
What are your thoughts about these two authors and their opinions? (keep it clean and impersonal)