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Guest: John Mankins; Topics: John's project with the US and Australia, space solar power technology, costs, regulatory concerns, national and international support, technology advancements, launch advancements, economic breakeven and much more.
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We welcomed John Mankins back to the show to discuss his US-Australian space solar power project through the company, Solar Space Technologies. John spent a good part of the first segment talking about this venture and responding to questions about why do this project with Australia. This led us to getting a good understanding of the potential SSP markets for Australia and SE Asia. Also discussed were the challenges and technology that is making a difference today for SSP plausibility that was not around even five years ago. Other challenges and roadblocks were mentioned such as policy, spectrum allocation which was and is a big deal, and the need for advanced infrastructure.
Regarding infrastructure, John talked about orbital construction and modular construction. Don't miss these discussions. When asked about repairs and maintenance, he went into great detail to explain why modular construction was lowering these costs along with construction costs. At one point he referenced the work by John Blincow who was recently a Space Show guests regrading his orbital construction plans.
John spent considerable time talking about SSP history, the differences today, and the fact that breakeven was possible because of the changes in technology, orbital construction and launch. We talked about the issue of perception which was changing rapidly with government but more slowly with the general population. Multiple other topics and subjects were addressed in this nearly two hour program which additionally did a deep dive into various TRLs and timelines for SSP operations.
John was asked about the green movement and SSP. We have heard on various Space Show programs that the greens were not that supportive of SSP but were of terrestrial solar. John corrected that misperception. Furthermore, he spent lots of time talking about terrestrial solar compared to SSP. Other questions from listeners included on asking John for a GEO SSP satellite deployment plan. Another listener wanted to know about SSP and national security issues while another inquired about an SSP project being EMP resistant. John did spend lots of time discussing the EMP and radiation challenges for SSP. Before we ended our program, John was asked about transmission power loss over distance, the spectrum allocation challenge, bypassing traditional utility companies for direct power distribution to the end ser s and the improving KWH price competitiveness.
Please post your comments/questions for John Mankins on our blog for this program. You can reach John through his website, www.artemisinnovation.com or through me using my Space Show email address.