I had the pleasure of meeting Russian Aviation and Space Agency Head Specialist for Manned Space Flight Programs, Dr. Roman Ivanovich Yakimenko, Ph.D. during the 1999 NASA Open House in Houston. He mentioned to me that Russia has carried out some experimentation toward a space-based energy system involving microwave transmission.
What do you think?
- Issue 1: Worldwide AC. The DC power premise of the original US plan seems off the mark. Wouldn't it be wiser to consider AC research regarding Earth and atmospheric electromagnetic standing waves?
- Issue 2: The Cost. The cost of SPSS, $74 MMM in 1975, was considered out of reach. This equates roughly to $249.64 MMM in 2000 dollars, adjusted by CPI for inflation. That's about 1% of one year's GDP. Would 1% of our world's economic output be too much to pay toward research and construction of a system that brought energy independence for all humankind? Personally, I believe that an additional 1% of my family's income toward a "WorldSavings" program would be money much better spent than the 17% that I contributed in 2000 toward US Government taxes and it's series of modern wars.
- Issue 3: The Timing. When should we make another push now toward aimed at satisfying our expanding world energy need in an environmentally benign manner? Al Gore's courageous 1992 book, "Earth in the Balance" believed that a twenty-five year development horizon was reasonable, though the recent past saw little to no progress on an international coalition basis. Though with every passing morning I am more concerned about what population demographics imply for 2012-20 in the U.S., the only wrong answer for when to start making our way toward a real solution is... "later".
I think our world primary energy producers and government agencies should work hard together to assertively provide major funding and expertise. If these are not willing, I believe they should be compulsed through world people-power, if not via global legal strictures, to dedicate purse and profits to such an endeavor.
Reversing the environmental damage caused by nuclear/carbon-based fuel exploitation and phosphorous-nitrogen, etc. chemical exploitation while lessening international conflict over resources better left in situ or equitably distributed and shared in an era of abundance would be a simple byproduct of such an effort.
As an individual planetary citizen and member of one local community, I'd plead that this enterprise would soon provide universal power, cost-free and priceless, to motivate our shared universal economy. Before dismissing this notion out of hand, consider a similar concept successfully launched by in communications space: The Internet.
Paul Martin Suckow,
Planner Visonaire and Environmental Policy Wonk.Founder,
January 1, 2000