When it comes to garnering solar energy to produce heat and electricity for the earth, the breakthrough came in 1958 when Vanguard 1 was launched into space. The NASA-designed, solar-powered satellite was the first of its kind and was sent into space to gauge the effects of the environment on the satellite.
Fast forward to 2017, and we are thinking of making solar power stations on the moon to meet our energy needs. This may sound science-fiction at first, but read on. The idea is more plausible than you think and may hold the key to solve world’s greatest problem.
Why Look for Solar Power from the Moon?
When talking about the idea of solar power generation on the moon, the first thing that comes to mind is: why moon?
The answer to this is pretty simple. Since the moon constantly receives sunlight (except during lunar eclipse), it is a plausible option for utilizing sun’s energy.
Also, the very factors that make moon unfavorable to life (no atmosphere, no wind etc.) make it perfect for generating solar energy. The solar power stations created on the moon would convert solar energy into microwave form to make it easy for it to reach the earth. Once the microwave forms arrive home, they can be harnessed to supply energy.
Some Issues with Lunar Solar Power Generation
Of course, the idea is not without pitfalls (otherwise, it would have been implemented by now). Apart from launching all of the material and equipment to the moon, the project implies that people would need to be there all the time to build, maintain and repair the system. The resources and manpower needed would be tremendous.
Moreover, if the project does go underway, we would have to build around 10,000 large receivers around the world. This endeavor would be massive.
Finally, when those microwave energy packets would reach the earth, they might disrupt our satellite and broadcasting systems. We might need to rebuild them.
Luna Ring – A Japanese Company’s Effort at Lunar Solar Power Generation
No matter what the obstacles, we humans have always strived towards growth and have worked out of our skins to make the impossible possible.
Shimizu Corporation, a company based in Tokyo, is planning to wrap the entire circumference of the moon (6,800 miles) with solar panels.
The Luna Ring, as they call them, would be able to power the entire world with ease. You may probably consider it as one of those ambitious projects, but the Japanese company has outlined the entire plan and is working towards it. The company says that industrious labor would be carried out by robots, whereas sophisticated tasks would be left for astronauts.
So, the future seems hopeful!