Reaching Out for Solar Power


According to MSNBC, The National Security Space Office (NSSO) at the Pentagon may soon initiate a study on the possibility of using satellites to obtain solar energy for employment on Earth. Defense Department authorities explained the study does not mean the military intends to test or release a space-based solar-fueled constellation. As the Pentagon studies several optional energy sources, though, this could be one potential way to provide energy to soldiers in bases or in combat locations.

In addition, the military's efforts in this area could help with the creation of a system that could offer energy to non-military users. Lt. Col. Michael Hornitschek, chief of rated force policy on the Air Force staff at the Pentagon, would head the study on behalf of the NSSO if that agency decides to pursue it, and he hopes such a system could be erected in around two decades. Space Solar Power Association president John Mankins explained that space-based solar power system would avoid the constraints of terrestrial systems, which cannot obtain solar energy during the night.   EC

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