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Solar Power Satellites: A Visual Introductio


Tigermike

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While at NASA (Marshall Space Flight Center) I worked with Peter Glaser in the late 70s on the joint NASA/DOE SPS study mentioned in the article (the project manager reported to me). The four year study ended with the conclusion that it would be a huge undertaking and an enormous cost. The technology just wasn't there and launch costs wee prohibitive. While progress has been made we are nowhere close to doing such a project. Ground based electrical costs would have to go way up to for SPS to be competitive on an amortized basis. But it was a fun study.

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I remember reading about this, but did not know NASA planned that much. The other neat idea was a space elevator really a cable anchored at the equator run up and past geosynchronous orbit to a counter weight. A car or lift compartment would move at several hundred miles an hour up the cable to reach orbit. . getting the cable strong enough and pulled up to the counterweight is the challenge.

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While at NASA (Marshall Space Flight Center) I worked with Peter Glaser in the late 70s on the joint NASA/DOE SPS study mentioned in the article (the project manager reported to me). The four year study ended with the conclusion that it would be a huge undertaking and an enormous cost. The technology just wasn't there and launch costs wee prohibitive. While progress has been made we are nowhere close to doing such a project. Ground based electrical costs would have to go way up to for SPS to be competitive on an amortized basis. But it was a fun study.

Very cool!

IMO, NASA is one of the most under-appreciated agencies in the government.

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While at NASA (Marshall Space Flight Center) I worked with Peter Glaser in the late 70s on the joint NASA/DOE SPS study mentioned in the article (the project manager reported to me). The four year study ended with the conclusion that it would be a huge undertaking and an enormous cost. The technology just wasn't there and launch costs wee prohibitive. While progress has been made we are nowhere close to doing such a project. Ground based electrical costs would have to go way up to for SPS to be competitive on an amortized basis. But it was a fun study.

Very cool!

IMO, NASA is one of the most under-appreciated agencies in the government.

I agree channonc, that's why it was so disappointing that this president has cut it back so much.
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channoc....obviously I agree with you but NASA, like other agencies, wastes a lot of money. They are currently suffering a lack of direction and leadership. Frankly they are getting more money than they need right now. There are 7 NASA Centers and all of then are NOT needed so a lot of their budget is standing overhead. NASA has long recognized the need to consolidate but politics gets in the way. Good example is Lewis Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio. Think you could close that when my good friend John Glenn was an Ohio Senator? No way.

Dan Goldin as Admnistrator almost ruined NASA. He was brought in by our old "friend" Al Gore. Need I say more? And I would hastily add that Pres. George W. Bush started the ill fated "back to the moon and on to Mars" program in 1994.Now 20 years and bilions of dollars later, we aren't even close to sending men back to the moon and don't even really have a reason to.

http://www.nbcnews.com/id/3950099/ns/technology_and_science-space/t/bush-sets-new-course-moon-beyond/#.U1poMGdOXDc

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/constellation/main/cev.html

NASA is a good agency with lots of talent. It just needs to be focused on doing something useful.

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