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The nuclearization of space — Beyond Nuclear International

Fast track to Mars could come at terrible price

The nuclearization of space — Beyond Nuclear International

August 23, 2021 - Posted by | Uncategorized

1 Comment »

  1. Dr. Grossman finishes, “Indeed, said the article [about a scheme to harvest solar power on the Moon], a huge amount of solar power energy could be generated on the moon and be beamed back to Earth.”

    Although Dr. Grossman is right about the lunacy of launching large reactors to serve the deeply dubious goals of space militarization, Moon commuting, and the like, it’s unfortunate that he ends his piece by promoting this almost equally absurd and dangerous scheme: harvesting solar power on the Moon and shipping it back to earth via terawatt-strength microwave beams.

    Absurd, because we already harvest solar power on the Earth, now producing “the cheapest electricity in history” in favorable markets (International Energy Agency, 2020) — cheaper than coal, gas, nuclear, or even wind and getting yet cheaper all the time. How could solar panels on the Moon ever possibly compete? Dangerous, because a trillion-watt (or even 100 billion-watt) power beam narrow enough to be economically collectable Earthside would present an obvious hazard if diverted accidentally or deliberately to, say, a city. Build a power beam strong enough to make a significant contribution to Earth’s electric supply and you’ve built a death ray.

    The lunar-solar idea is so utterly cockeyed in terms of practicality, economy, and safety that it is startling that Dr. Grossman would credit it for a second, much less give it prominence at the end of his article.

    Comment by theunmanspeaks | August 28, 2021 | Reply

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