Solar power satellites

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Solar power satellites are space-based power supply systems. They are composed of arrays of solar panels that convert sunlight (or photons from other sources such as lasers) into power and then beam that power by microwave (or laser beam) to a distant site, such as a receiving station on Earth or Mars. Considerable literature has been written about solar power satellites; they promise to deliver large amounts of electric power to distant sites at low cost.

The lunar industrial base will be used to build the solar panels and other structural components of solar power satellites. The separate components of the solar power satellites will then be launched by mass driver from the Moon to their destination in space. They will be maneuvered into their final orbit (by tethers, rockets, etc.) and assembled by means of autonomous or tele-operated robotic devices. Large orbiting solar power satellites can then provide continuous power in the 100-200 (or more) megawatt range11 - for example, for the global exploration and development of planets such as Mars.

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