The Case for Space Solar Power

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Virginia Edition Publishing, 2014 - 488 pages
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This book makes the case for Space Solar Power; recounting the history of this fascinating concept and summarizing the many different ways in which it might be accomplished. The book describes in detail a highly promising concept - SPS-ALPHA (Solar Power Satellite by means of Arbitrarily Large Phased Array) - and presents a business case comprising applications in space and markets on Earth. The book explains how it is possible to begin now with technologies that are already at hand, while developing the more advanced technologies that will be needed to deliver power economically to markets on Earth. The Case for Space Solar Power concludes by laying out a path forward that is both achievable and affordable: within a dozen years or less, the first multi-megawatt pilot plant could be in operation. Getting started could cost less than $10 million over the first 2 years, less than $100 million over the next half dozen years. Given that space solar power would transform our future in space, and might provide a new source of virtually limitless and sustainable energy to markets across the world, the book poses the question, "Why wouldn't we pursue space solar power?"

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About the author (2014)

John C. Mankins, President of Artemis Innovation Management Solutions LLC is an internationally recognized leader in space systems and technology innovation, and as a highly effective manager of large-scale technology R&D programs. Mr. Mankins' 25-year career at NASA and CalTech's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) ranged from flight projects and space mission operations, to systems level innovation and advanced technology research & development management. He is also well known as an innovator in R&D management. For example, building on the original NASA 'technology readiness level' (TRL) scale for technology assessment (defined first with 6 or 7 levels in the 1970s), he extended the scale to flight systems and operations in the late 1980s (TRLs 8 and 9), published the first detailed definitions of the TRLs in 1995, and promoted the use of the scale by the US Department of Defense in the late 1990s.

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