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I propose that we direct the Space Shuttle system toward

performing a mission of immense importance to us here on Earth

helping to develop the needed technology for Solar Power Satellite.

Present Solar Power Satellite development work is fragmentary

and inadequate. Even when completed, the current efforts will

not bring us substantially closer to the point where major

commitment to Solar Power Satellite development can be justified.

A coordinated ground program followed by Shuttle sortie

missions and leading to a Power Technology Module program 18

recommended so that the necessary experimental work will be

obtained in a timely cost efficient fashion.

The key issues

which should be included are:

demonstration of a high production

rate solar power conversion system, development of large space

structure fabrication, assembly and control technology, microwave

power transmission demonstration and environmental impact appraisal. I believe that technology development for the Solar Power Satellite program can be focussed by development of the Power Technology Module. The development of the Power Technology

Module by 1984 should be a key element in our national space

program.

NASA should be named the lead agency to carry it

forward. This is a national objective and a program which

will provide fresh stimulus and enthusiasm to our engineers and scientists in the space community. We will be using the

Shuttle and space technology to perform a mission of great value to all of us here on Earth. This is my recommendation for the next step in our country's space program - development

of technology for the Solar Power Satellite program.

SOLAR POWER SATELLITE TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT

A RECOMMENDED NEXT STEP IN OUR COUNTRY'S SPACE PROGRAM

BY

JOSEPH G. GAVIN, JR.

PRESIDENT, GRUMMAN CORPORATION

JANUARY 24, 1978

INTRODUCTION

With the passage of each year our nation's Shuttle

program gives encouraging indications that it is well on the

way to ushering in a new era of space operations. Now, for

the first time, man will be able to work on a routine basis

in space.

Considerable effort has gone into this well planned

undertaking to make the Shuttle an effective launch vehicle.

We believe that this valuable transportation system can be

and should be used to perform missions of direct benefit for

mankind, and an excellent opportunity presents itself in the

form of energy technology.

It is becoming increasingly certain that we face a long

term shortage of energy to supply the needs of our country.

This shortage will also be felt by many of the other industrially

developed countries in our world.

Solar power satellites have

been studied as one attractive inexhaustible source of energy

to help meet this need.

I propose that we direct the Space Shuttle system

into performing a mission of immense importance to us here

on Earth - helping develop the needed technology for Solar

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mutually exclusive but we should adopt appropriate "tools"

or approaches which will fit the needs of the problem at

hand.

The Solar Power Satellite Technology Development Program

directs part of the technical community toward achieving goals

which are of great benefit to the United States and it continues

our strength in "high technology."

THE SOLAR POWER SATELLITE CONCEPT

The elements of the Solar Power Satellite, SPS, concept

are shown in Figure 1. A fraction of the sun's energy is harvested by large solar arrays which intercept energy

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