For decades already, Japan and its space agency, JAXA, have succeeded in coming out with something spectacular: to beam solar energy straight from space. Of course, as bold as that might sound, the space mission is still challenging most scientists. But as an incredible record, back in 2015, JAXA completed a huge milestone. The space agency transmitted 1.8 kilowatts of power (that’s actually enough to run an electric kettle), which is actually more than 50 meters to a wireless receiver. Now, Japan changed its spatial goal a bit, aiming for more!
JAXA’s Mission Insights
The initiative will seek to launch a number of tiny satellites into orbit. The ambitious project is being directed by Kyoto University professor Naoki Shinohara, who has quite a personal record of researching space-based solar energy since 2009. Quite impressive, isn’t it?! Well, luckily, there’s more.
The satellites in question will further work their ‘magic’ to perform something spectacular. They will attempt to transmit the solar energy the arrays gather straight to the ground-based receiving stations hundreds of kilometers distant.
What are your thoughts so far about solar power? How about such ambitious space missions?
Why is solar power so important?
Because orbiting solar arrays provide a potentially limitless renewable energy source, which is the best-case scenario, the concept is really enticing. Solar panels can actually possess the power to gather energy in space at any time of day (that’s amazing!), and since the electricity they generate is transmitted via microwaves, clouds couldn’t be an issue at all!
FACT: it was initially proposed back in 1968 to use orbiting solar cells and microwaves to transmit energy to Earth; sadly, only a few nations have invested time and resources in researching the notion (China and the US).
The technology would still be more akin to science fiction than reality, even if Japan is successful in deploying a set of orbiting solar panels. Why’s that?! Well, easy. One of the reasons is that using current technologies, it would cost around $7 billion to produce an array that can produce 1 gigawatt of power. But we’re hopeful as technology and science advance every day.
Tiesha loves to share her passion for everything that’s beautiful in this world. Apart from writing on her beauty blog and running her own beauty channel on Youtube, she also enjoys traveling and photography. Tiesha covers various stories on the website.