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To achieve the SPS development goals will require coordination of future space programs directed to the intensive utilization of the space shuttle, performance of Spacelab experiments, demonstration of the capability to construct large space structures, and the generation of significant power levels to support planned space activities.
The SPS development program will focus efforts leading to space processing, human habitations required in orbit for fabrication, assembly and maintenance, efficient modes of space transportation, and the potential exploitation of extraterrestrial resources.
I believe that the SPS is one of the most promising power generation options to meet global energy demands in the 21st century. Its successful implementation could lead to the elimination of energy-related concerns. In a broader sense, the SPS represents a major and meaningful step towards extending peaceful human activities beyond the confines of the Earth's surface. With increasing confidence in the technical feasibility and economic promise of the SPS, the decision to pursue this option on an expanded scale should be made to meet the challenges that will have to be faced during the inevitable transition to renewable sources of energy. Now is the time for this nation to establish the potential of power from space to provide an inexhaustible energy source for the public benefit. Therefore, the SPS development program should be a significant component of our country's future space programs and be included in the national energy plan.
(1) Energy Research and Development and Space Technology, Hearings before the
Subcommittee on Space Science and Applications and Subcommittee on Energy of the Committee on Science and Astronautics, U.S. House of Representatives. Ninety Third Congress, First Session, May 7, 22, and 24, 1973, No. 9, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, 1973, pp. 258-262 and 298-327.
(2) Glaser, Peter E., “The Potential of Satellite Solar Power," Proceedings of the
IEEE, Vol. 65, No. 8, August 1977, pp. 1162-1176.
PETER E. GLASER
Dr. Glaser, Vice President of Engineering Sciences at Arthur D. Little, Inc., has directed a number of advanced engineering development projects on the utilization of solar energy, space and lunar science instrumentation, and space industrialization. He has published and spoken widely on the potential of solar energy to meet future energy demands.
Dr. Glaser received his undergraduate training in mechanical engineering at Leeds College of Technology and at Charles University, Prague. He obtained his MS and PhD degrees in mechanical engineering from Columbia University in 1955.
Since joining the Arthur D. Little staff in 1955, he has directed research on: Methods of generating high temperatures, including the construction of solar and arc imaging furnaces; thermal insulation systems; properties of postulated lunar surface materials; and solar energy conversion. He was responsible for the development of scientific experiments for all Apollo lunar landing missions, including measurements of the heat flow from the lunar surface, lunar gravity, and the earth-moon distance. He is direct. ing projects on the feasibility of a satellite solar power station, life science experiments for shuttle and terrestrial solar energy applications.
Dr. Glaser is a past President of the International Solar Energy Society, and is currently serving as Editor-in-Chief of the Society's Journal. He is a member of Committees of the National Academy of Sciences; the American Association for the Advancement of Science; the New York Academy of Sciences; the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics; American Society of Mechanical Engineers; the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers; the Society of Automotive Engineers; American Ordnance Association; and Sigma Xi. He has over one-hundred publications, books and patents in the fields of solar power satellites, thermal protection systems, thermal properties measurements, thermal imaging techniques, lunar surface characteristics, extraterrestrial resource utilization and space industrialization. He was awarded the Carl F. Kayan Medal by Columbia University in 1974.
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FUTURE SPACE PROGRAMS
Committee on Science & Technology
Washington, D. C.
January 24, 1978
American Institute of Aeronautics & Astronautics
1290 Avenue of the Americas
The AIAA is a technical society composed of 25,000 engineers, scientists, and
students representing all disciplines of the aerospace profession. We have often testified before subcanmittees of this committee, and welcome this opportunity to
present our views.
The current Administration's emphasis on applications of space (including space
exploration), while certainly comendable and, indeed, essential, has resulted in
some deemphasis of the technology development efforts needed to support future space
activities. The tendency is to take for granted the impressive technological capabilities we have developed during the past several decades, but unless technology
development is continued and actively nurtured, our future space programs will suffer.
Among the numerous areas in which research and technology program weaknesses exist,
we have cited three specific examples: propulsion, on-board power, and large space
structures. Virtually all our future activities depend on vigorous technology programs
in these three areas, and efforts in all three are currently inadequate.
A fourth concern implied by the above is the overall need for NASA to devote the
bulk of its space efforts to its principal function: research and the development of new space technologies, systems, and capabilities, rather than to the operational as
pects of such programs as Landsat or even routine shuttle flights in the 1980's.
Several alternatives are identified; examples of proper mechanisms are those which were
used for comunications and meteorological satellites, in which "user" agencies or
sectors now operate the systems, leaving NASA free to improve capabilities and develop
new technology in these areas.
A basic premise in all our views is the need for routine, reliable, reusable trans
portation to orbit: the shuttle.
It represents the first and most essential element
in beginning our second cycle of space activities, and is the keystone to all future