China lines up solar power generator in space

The country’s proposed solar power station in space is aimed at generating inexhaustible power

The Chinese presence in outer space is getting bigger. The far east nation had recently launched three astronauts into space to make its space outings a large scale affair. Taking things a step forward the Asian country has now lined up efforts to set up a solar power station in space.

Aimed at generating inexhaustible power, the proposed solar power station in space is being termed as a leap in space technology. China has already begun efforts to build its most ambitious space project, which it looks to kickstart in 2028. Being explained as two years ahead of schedule, this project for 2028 will witness the country testing wireless power transmission technology from space to the ground from an altitude of 400 kilometres.

A report that quotes Chinese Space Science and Technology, a science journal, reports that China will be launching a satellite in 2028 to this effect. It added that a space solar power system orbiting the Earth at an altitude of 36,000 kilometres would have the potential to gather energy of the sun’s rays, sans any hassle from atmospheric conditions or loss of sunlight at night.

Solar power from space

The report also quoted a Forbes story that has deputy head of the Chongqing Collaborative Innovation Research Institute for Civil-Military Integration in Southwestern China, Xie Gengxin, saying that it is the process of building a testing facility in Chongqing’s Bishan district. This testing facility will be deployed to test the theoretical viability of a space-based solar power station.

The solar power station, estimated to be spread across a space of 33 acres will be the spot where space transmission technologies will be put to use so as to study the effect of microwaves beamed back to Earth on living organisms.

Further, as many as 4, six-tethered balloons will also be put in place from the testing base and then linked together to establish a network at an altitude of around 1,000 meters.

Beaming power from space back to Earth

These balloons will be capable of gathering sunlight and in turn convert solar energy to microwave before beaming it back to Earth. The set up includes receiving stations fixed on the ground, which are capable of converting such microwaves to electricity. The electricity will then be distributed to a grid.

China’s leap in space tech is going great guns. With the new efforts aimed at establishing a solar power generator in space also taking shape, the world would indeed be looking at the far east nation in awe.

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