Satellite beams solar power down to Earth, in first-of-a-kind demonstration

Tuesday, June 6, 2023 - 14:23 in Astronomy & Space

Researchers have taken a small but necessary step toward realizing a long-standing dream: harvesting solar energy in space and beaming it down to Earth. A satellite launched in January has steered power in a microwave beam onto targets in space, and even sent some of that power to a detector on Earth, the experiment’s builder, the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), announced on 1 June . “No one has done this before,” says space scientist Sanjay Vijendran at the European Space Agency (ESA). “They’re bringing credibility to the topic by demonstrating this capability.” Credibility has long been the challenge for space-based solar power. To produce as much power as a typical coal or nuclear power station,...

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