MONDAY 08 NOVEMBER, 2010 |
NSS-Kalam Energy Initiative To Harvest Solar Power From Space
America and India, two nations trying to wean themselves off an unhealthy reliance on fossil fuels, have agreed to work towards a joint space program that would establish solar energy harvesting satellites in orbit around the Earth.
As US President Barack Obama visits India, his former counterpart Dr A.P.J. Kalam, eleventh president of India last week addressed the National Press Club along with the National Space Society (NSS) on the subject of space solar power.
Dr Kalam is in partnership with Dr. T.K. Alex, Director of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) Satellite Centre and leader of the Chandrayan-1 project that discovered water on the moon. The project is called the Kalam-NSS Initiative.
Although the logistics involved in the production and transfer of space solar power
are literally out of this world, Dr Kalam says humanity will have no choice because Earth-bound renewable energy sources will not be able to cope with demand.
"By 2050, even if we use every available energy resource we have: clean and dirty, conventional and alternative, solar, wind, geothermal, nuclear, coal, oil, and gas, the world will fall short of the energy we
Kalam believes that utilising off-world solar power has the potential to reverse America’s half a trillion dollar a year balance of payments deficit and to generate a new generation of American jobs. It is, he argues, simply expanding on existing technology that has been in use for decades by both India and America to power satellites sent into space.
Telstar, America’s first commercial satellite, was essentially a "beachball encrusted with square medallions. Those medallions were photovoltaic
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