A startup under contract to the U.S. Space Force is investigating the use of solar-powered vehicles for operations in deep space beyond Earth orbit.
The Aerospace Corp. is calling for U.S. government agencies to work together to develop space solar power technologies in a paper that underscores the importance of collaborating with international partners.
An experiment launched May 17 onboard the U.S. Air Force’s X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle-6 is based on over a decade of work focused on a modular space solar satellite capable of beaming energy to Earth.
The results of the experiment could drive the design of a dedicated spacecraft to capture solar power in space.
Suppliers of solar panels and related equipment for the space industry are pivoting to serve customers planing satellites for low and medium Earth orbits as the slow down in geostationary satellite orders persists.