Japan wants to farm the sun...IN SPACE


That'll be an interesting crop to pick

Through some of the worst disasters can come some of the best, most innovative ideas. After the 2011 earthquake, tsunami and subsequent meltdown at Fukushima, the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency, or JAXA for short, has developed an idea that would ideally remove our reliance on nuclear power. That idea involves farms...in space! Orbital solar farms, to be more precise.

While the concept of orbital solar arrays has been around for a while, what JAXA has done is create a system that isn't entirely impossible, just really bloody expensive. The plan would have these solar farms in geosynchronous orbit collecting energy and beaming down that energy via microwave to substations, which then turn those microwaves in DC power. For more specifics, you can read most of the proposal over at IEEE Spectrum.

This is a pretty awesome idea, but it does raise some practical questions. Of course, the cost of getting the project started and into space is a pretty big concern. Then, how about maintenance of the whole thing? That can't be cheap, easy or practical either. The idea would be to get this project done by the 2030's, but that doesn't seem feasible based off the difficulty in getting any sort of basic space mission funded. This would be a fantastic push in providing parts of the world with constant clean energy, but there might still be too much fiction in this science for now.

[header via IEEE]
[via io9]

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Pedro Cortes
Pedro CortesAssociate Editor   gamer profile

Pedro Cortes has been known to swoon at the sight of a robot. This is understandable, as robots are pretty awesome. more + disclosures



Filed under... #japan #Science!



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