Moon Power

Physicist David Criswell at the University of Houston's Space Sciences Center proposed a lunar-based solar energy capture system in some detail in 2002. Here's the article.

Some quick facts:

-Enough power can be produced for 10 billion people by 2050
-The cost is much lower per unit of energy production via the moon's surface than various satellite options
-microwave relay stations transmit power from the moon to receiving arrays on earth that plug into the existing grid

Another paper (Chen, 2008) from NASA scientists discusses building the next generation astronomical observatory on the moon. An interesting observation is that the common raw material of the moon (glassy breccias) could be processed on site to create huge quantities of mirror blanks, which can then be aluminized. While this usage is for optical telescopes - solar energy reflectors would be similar, with less precise tolerances required.

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