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Latest Space-based solar power Stories

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2007-12-24 18:15:00

BALI, Indonesia -- While great nations fretted over coal, oil and global warming, one of the smallest at the U.N. climate conference was looking toward the heavens for its energy. The annual meeting's corridors can be a sounding board for unlikely "solutions" to climate change - from filling the skies with soot to block the sun, to cultivating oceans of seaweed to absorb the atmosphere's heat-trapping carbon dioxide. Unlike other ideas, however, one this year had an influential backer, the...

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2007-12-03 17:52:53

The next time Jules Verne ATV's four solar arrays are fully deployed, giving the vehicle a total span of 22.3 m, will be in early 2008, at 28,000 km/h over the South Pacific Ocean. Just 100 minutes after lift-off, following separation from the Ariane 5 launcher, the x-shaped solar arrays will give the European vessel its characteristic dragonfly appearance. The automatic deployment of these metallic blue 'wings' and the activation of the on-board navigation systems will transform the 20-tonne...

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2007-11-16 10:45:00

A NASA satellite designed, built and controlled by the University of Colorado at Boulder is expected to help scientists resolve wide-ranging predictions about the coming solar cycle peak in 2012 and its influence on Earth's warming climate, according to the chief scientist on the project. Senior Research Associate Tom Woods of CU-Boulder's Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics said the brightening of the sun as it approaches its next solar cycle maximum will have regional climatic...

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2005-12-12 17:30:00

ESA -- Robotic 'spiders' could be the key to building large-scale structures in space, according to ESA's Advanced Concepts Team. The tiny mechanical spiders would inch their way across large nets of fabric in space performing small tasks or lining up to create an antenna or some other structure. The concept is known as a Furoshiki satellite after the Japanese word for a cloth used to wrap up possessions. It could revolutionise satellite-based applications such as telecommunications,...

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2005-09-27 16:07:42

NASA -- NASA engineers and their industry partners have successfully deployed two 400-square-meter solar sails during ground testing. This is a critical milestone in the development of a unique propulsion technology that uses the Sun to propel vehicles through space. Solar sail propulsion technologies bounce sunlight off giant, reflective sails made of lightweight material 40 to 100 times thinner than a piece of writing paper. The continuous pressure provides sufficient thrust to perform...

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2005-05-23 15:30:00

NASA -- Solar sails. The idea of using these large, reflective structures to "sail" through space is nothing new. In fact, it's been around for a long time -- first suggested nearly 400 years ago by the German astronomer Johannes Kepler, after he "discovered" comet tails being blown by what he believed to be a kind of solar breeze. Kepler suggested ships could possibly move through space using large sails to capture this "breeze" from the Sun, much the way the wind pushes sailboats across...