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Solar power bases will be built on the Moon

  1. Nov 7, 2003 #1

    Ivan Seeking

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    Testimony of Dr. David R. Criswell: Senate Hearing on "Lunar Exploration"

    "Testimony of Dr. David R. Criswell at Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Subcommittee on Science, Technology, and Space Hearings: "Lunar Exploration"
    Thursday, November 6, 2003, 2:30 PM – SR-253 "

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  3. Nov 7, 2003 #2


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    What is this guy a Dr. of?

    The moon is a horrible place for solar power arrays. 14 days light, 14 days dark. Only 14 days of being able to beam the power to Earth, assuming you can gimbal the beamer a full 180 degrees, and those days don't even correspond to the 14 days of light.

    For pete's sake, if you're going to spend the money to build a extraplanetary solar array, put it in a 61 degree inclination, sun-synchronous orbit. Save yourself some headache with the engineering problems...
  4. Nov 8, 2003 #3
    Dr. Crisswell is an Industrial Physicist, Enigma.

    Here's a better site that goes further in depth of his LSP Program from getting solar cells from the moon: http://www.physicscentral.com/news/news-02-5.html .

    In the article Criswell proposes a Lunar Solar Power (LSP) System, using arrays of solar cells on the lunar surface to beam energy back to Earth. Criswell estimates that the 10 billion people living on Earth in 2050 will require 20 Terawatts (TW) of power. The Moon receives 13,000 TW of power from the sun. Criswell suggests that harnessing just 1% of the solar power and directing it toward Earth could replace fossil fuel power plants on Earth.
  5. Nov 20, 2003 #4


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    Greetings !

    This sounds like a totally unreal idea. It will cost many many
    times more than nuclear power, not to mention that
    by 2050 we'll barely have the first manned bases on the
    Moon while back on Earth we're likely to harness
    nuclear fusion by then.

    Live long and prosper.
  6. Nov 20, 2003 #5


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    Did you see that the ITER international fusion collaboration has won the highest priority on the new US science budget?
  7. Nov 21, 2003 #6


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    Nope, but I agree that it's a good investment.
    Personally, though I'm no expert, I'd use a bit less money
    or maybe the same amount but concentrate less on propotypes
    and more on theoretical designs of new and better reactor concepts.
    I mean plasma dynamics is a very complex subject indeed
    ant there's a lot to learn about other aspects like power conversion
    for example. And yet, these propotypes won't yield effective nuclear
    fusion even if brought to perfection. We need new types of designes
    as well as better materials like more powerfull supermagnets
    and new design concepts for plasma flow geometries.

    Live long and prosper.
  8. Dec 5, 2003 #7


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    Thats nice but the Earth recieves far more than that. Solar power plants on Earth would be far superior in cost and capability to anything we could put on the moon.

    Dr. or not, what he's suggesting is a terrible idea.
  9. Dec 5, 2003 #8


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    The main disadvantage of the moon is that it's far away.

    Its two main advantages are that it has no atmosphere and that it does have gravity.

    Solar power stations on earth suffer from atmospheric absorption and scattering of sunlight.

    Solar power satellites in near earth orbit suffer from having to construct and maintain complex machinery in zero g.

    So the moon as a solar power base isn't a terrible idea right out of the box; it's more a matter of weighing costs and benefits.
  10. Jan 11, 2004 #9
    Well im not engineer but i have 2 main things that come to mind..

    1) how much energy will it take to convert this energy into,... energy that can be 'transported' magically away to another place...

    2) i've had this idea in my own mind for years for earth. irreguardless of wether earth is inneficient because of the atmosphere or not it still seemed like a good idea at the time the only problem is..


    I seriously doubt anyone is going to mass produce solar panels to cover an entire celestial body just to try and get what is probobly a limited fraction of the total energy that is hitting it.

    Until we reach a place within our society where material posessions and money are no longer conscerns of ours (star trek: federation.. blah blah) then businessman/women and governments are going to be more concerned with things like plastering the moons surface with gambling casinos, resorts, vacations spots.. thats my prediction for the future...

    If not they'll always fall back on the critically acclaimed weapons of mass destruction.. filling the skies with new and ingenious ways of blowing everything up!

  11. Jan 11, 2004 #10
    Hi everyone. This idea is good in theory, but I can't see it happening. Also my worst fear is the beaming the microwaves towards Earth bit. What if something goes wrong and its beamed some place else?
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