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energy in space, and environmental issues including high
voltage in low earth orbit, plasma issues and ionospheric
These are all precursors in development work which can capitalize upon the Shuttle and pave the way toward the development of the Power Technology Module operations.
A further organizational consideration is to what extent, if any, international participation should be encouraged. The Power Technology Module offers an additional avenue for
cooperation in that the pressurized container for the PTM
equipment could be a Spacelab module. Internal equipment could also be provided by the European community as appropriate.
CONDITIONS FOR STARTING MAJOR SPS DEVELOPMENT IN 1985
The results of long range programs do not provide the early
gratification which shorter range projects frequently do. On the other hand, if events continue along their present path,
by 1985 we will face a strong public concern for the rapid
depletion of our oil and gas resources, a concern for the
expanding environmental pollution caused by our increasing reliance on coal and a distaste for our forced dependence on foreign sources to meet our basic energy needs. It is probable, moreover, that there will not be a revolutionary breakthrough
in the development of other "inexhaustible" electrical energy
They also will continue to show their current promise
as a year 2000+ solution.
Given these conditions, however, it would still not be
prudent to start a broad commitment in 1985 to Solar Power
Satellite development unless believable experimental answers
have been provided to the key Solar Power Satellite viability
issues by that time period. These key issues which should be
Demonstration of a high production rate solar power
Development of large space structure fabrication,
Microwave power transmission demonstration
Environmental impact appraisal
These issues are addressed as shown in Figure 5 in the
integrated Ground, Shuttle Sortie Flight and Power Technology
Module program which have been outlined.
It is only by
providing this experimental data that a convinced government
could then direct that the next major step in solar power
technology be taken.
would cost about $224M including its launch cost.
Plan and implement a series of Shuttle sortie missions
to prepare for the Power Technology Module era.
is estimated to be about 5 flights in the 1980 to
the next step in our country's space program and certainly is
not intended to be totally comprehensive of all that should be
done in space.
Solar Power Satellite Technology Development
is a program which I believe will provide fresh impetus and
enthusiasm within the space community.
We will be using the
Shuttle and space technology to perform a mission of great