Abstract

The National Space Society (NSS) proposes a public/private partnership approach to develop and demonstrate space solar power at a sufficiently high level of technical maturity that commercial energy providers can subsequently build initial operational systems for high-energy-cost environments such as remote locations (islands, mining facilities, military encampments, etc.), emergency settings (e.g., evacuation camps) and others. The outlines of the partnership are based on the successful Commercial Orbital Transportation Services program that helped develop the SpaceX Falcon 9 launcher/Dragon capsule and the Orbital Sciences Corp. Antares launcher and Cygnus spacecraft. The Space Solar Power Demo development described here features minimal NASA oversight, milestone-driven fixed-price pay-outs, minimal exit criteria, substantial commercial partner funding commitments, non-traditional contracts (e.g., Space Act Agreements with NASA), commercial partner choice of energy market and energy consumer, enabling system development (e.g., space robotics), and at least two winners.

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