There have been two significant advances in space solar power reported this month, in one of which NSS played a role.

NSS and the space community (and for that matter, the world) owes a big thanks to California Representative Kevin Mullin for introducing and getting passed an amendment in the House Science Committee to add space solar power to a list of areas in which NASA and the Department of Energy should coordinate research and development. NSS ran a Political Action Alert on this subject and provided Congressman Mullin with a copy of the NSS Position Paper on Clean Energy from Space: Has Space Solar Power’s Time Come?

More information can be found in the excellent article by Eric Berger in Ars Technica, For the first time in decades, Congress seems interested in space-based solar power. Here is an excerpt:

Before its passage, the amendment was supported by several space advocacy groups, including the Alliance for Space Development, Space Frontier Foundation, and National Space Society. “This is the first time since the 1970s that the idea of space solar power has been addressed in legislation,” said Jonathan Dagle, a policy manager for the National Space Society. He characterized the amendment as “a small but significant victory.”

The other advance was the widely-covered announcement June 1 by Caltech of a demonstration “to wirelessly transmit power in space and to beam detectable power to Earth for the first time.”

See the Caltech press release for more information.

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