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Topic: SPS NASA vs DoD

Page history last edited by Bradley Cheetham 12 years, 3 months ago

Background: Solar Powered Sattelites (SPS) have become a very attractive space technology to many people as of late.  The opportunity for continuous, renewable, energy anywhere in the world is a very powerful thing.  Recently it was discussed that NASA and DoE and DoD have all 'looked' at this technology and as of now DoD is the only organization that has taken any steps (recently at least) into investigating it.  It appears to me that this could be a point of contention (ie If NASA isn't working on SPS then what are they good for?).


Thesis:  SPS are the perfect opportunity for NASA to work with DoD (just as NACA worked with the Air Force on supersonic flight) to develop this technology.  The Defense budget is clearly much larger than NASA's budget is.  This seems to me to be a chance for NASA to get more money to do space research related to SPS.  This research could include space structures research, power beaming research, lunar base set up, lunar resource extraction, lunar manufacturing, etc.  The infrastructure and market created by SPS would be an important driving factor in commercial space development. 


What if?: NASA worked on the research aspects and technology creation/development needed for SPS to work.  This technology could then be transfered to the private sector where the DoD would fund/lead the implimentation of the project. They would purchase commercial launch vehicles, and be primary customers.


This idea is still evolving and has likely been thought of before. 


Comments? Pros/Cons? Problems?

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