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Space Solar Power: Is it Time to Actually Harness the Sun?

Wednesday, July 28 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Space Solar Power (SSP), the idea of using solar panels in space to collect power from the Sun to serve the energy needs of the people on Earth, holds great promise. The contributing effect of fossil fuels on climate change is a critical concern to people around the world. Although renewable energy is increasingly serving some needs, physical limitations greatly inhibit the use of these carbon-neutral approaches for primary baseload power. Meanwhile, solar energy systems for spacecraft have become smaller, lighter, more efficient, and less expensive. Large SSP constellations will likely require a large workforce in space to properly assemble, maintain, and manage them. Such activity could be one economic underpinning for the establishment of communities in space. Recent SSP R&D programs, along with advances in computing technology, robotics, materials, space infrastructure, and low-cost launch have opened the launch window for SSP to move off the drawing board and into space. Join us as we explore recent advances, how they might play out in practice, how the nations of the world are approaching SSP, and whether we’ve finally reached an inflection point where we can actually harness the Sun.


Beyond Earth Institute