I was perusing my new (paper) issue of the Air Force’s Strategic Studies Quarterly, surely up there for the dorkiest insider-baseball type quasi-academic journal. I say perusing because the space and cyber geeks seem to have taken over and there’s hardly anything published on pure airpower subjects, certainly nothing that might be frank or controversial.
But buried in the space, space and more space issue, one article caught my attention and I read it: Solar Power in Space? by Air Force Lt Col Peter Garretson. I’ve haven’t paid any attention at all to this subject, but on the same day that I noted a Tweet that remarked that the price of some covers for Kindles are more expensive than the Kindles themselves, I was inspired by an actual idea, a vision.
Garretson didn’t invent the idea of an array of solar panels in geosynchronous orbit producing enough energy for the entire planet — the vision — but he clearly thinks the idea should be given a closer look and some American investment. Lots of Air Force (and U.S. government) people evidently digagree, but it seems most of their concerns are institutional. I don’t profess to know the science and since we’re talking about a 50 year or more horizon, the cost. But what’s more important to consider: the Tweet?