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Comments on Solar Satellites Beam Back Energy
This is really a great idea, but I can only go back to 1941 for the earliest kind of reference. Anybody earlier? (Read the complete story)

"My reference for this isn't as old as your oldest one, but it's still a useful one. In Pournelle's book "A Step Further Out," (a collection of lectures and papers he gave in the late 70's and early 80's) he gave a lot of details of how this sort of thing would work, including some alternative uses for it, and claimed that it could be made with only slight modifications to off-the-shelf equipment of the time. (among the alternative uses was in a variant of the Laser Launch System which was effectively a pulse-jet engine for aircraft, so they'd only need fuel for takeoff and landing, not for the flight in-between)"
(Ashley 10/23/2008 12:54:35 AM)
"Similar, but not quite the same, didn't NiKola Telsa broadcast power before 1900?"
(Baja 10/23/2008 5:40:11 PM)
"Tesla tried, at least, and it worked at short range. Terribly inefficient, though. Fortunately most problems with wireless problem transmission have been solved by now. Now my question. To get over 5 GW you need a humongous collecting surface. Concentrating light using lightweight mylar mirrors on relatively smaller PV cells can reduce weight, but it should still require assembling a large space structure with a huge combined weight. ┐How do you put that in orbit in the first place?"
( 10/24/2008 2:48:04 AM)
"Did Stapledon tackle this in Star Maker (1937)?"
(jesse 10/28/2008 6:46:14 AM)
"Jesse - very good! Stapledon wrote about an idea that was very similar. The Symbiotics had "artificial planets for permanent habitation." They were covered with a transparent barrier to keep the atmosphere in. "Immediately beneath it hung the photosynthesis stations and the machinery for generating power from solar radiation." See the near space energy collection devices."
(Bill Christensen 10/28/2008 8:17:33 AM)

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