Energy from the sun is inexhaustible,
as clearly underscored in thisimage taken aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour. Long before Endeavour—in 1968—a mechanical
engineer, Dr. Peter Glaser, envisioned a way to harness that energy for use on Earth with a concept now
called Space-based Solar Power—a plan that was later studied in more detail by NASA and the U.S.
Department of Energy. The general idea was that large satellites in geosynchronous orbit could capturesolar power from the sun and transmit it to Earth—where it could be transferred through electrical gridsto entire population centers. But in the late 1960s, the technology simply didn’t exist to make it happen.
Today, it does—as you’ll see in our special report this issue from experts on this clean, renewable new
As Dr. Glaser says in an accompanying interview: “It’s not just about Peter Glaser any longer. People all
over the world know about solar power satellites. It’s up to them to make it work for the whole world.”
P H O T O : N A S A