DETLEV VAN RAVENSWAAY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DETLEV VAN RAVENSWAAY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Solar power satellite. Artwork of a future solar power satellite in Earth orbit. Large arrays of solar panels (brown) are converting the energy in sunlight into laser or microwave beams (not seen). These would be used to transfer power to Earth or orbiting spacecraft and satellites. Such future technology would require advances in the wireless transmission of energy, solar cell technology and assembly robotics. The control centre of the solar power satellite is being serviced by a spacecraft (lower left). The Moon and another spacecraft are at upper left. The concept is under consideration by NASA, the American space agency.
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