Online Journal of Space Communication


Solar Power Satellite (SPS) research and development has received little funding over the 40 years since the concept was first introduced. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) have each hosted and then cancelled space solar power programs because they didn't fit their mandates. It is time to broaden our search for agencies to fund SPS R&D, to find an agency that deals with both space and energy. Another problem faced by space-based solar power advocates is that launch costs are too high for SPS to be affordable. The launch market is currently too small to justify the major investment needed to reduce launch costs. The launch requirements of SPS will force a significant expansion of global launch capability. The way out of this dilemma is for the government to subsidize the launch of the first few full-scale solar power satellites.



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