The Sun–Moon–Earth Solar–electric Power System to Enable Unlimited Human Prosperity
David R. Criswell, 2013. "The Sun–Moon–Earth Solar–electric Power System to Enable Unlimited Human Prosperity", Energy Resources for Human Settlement in the Solar System and Earth’s Future in Space, William A. Ambrose, James F. Reilly, II, Douglas C. Peters
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Earth and our Moon intercept tiny fractions of the high–quality power generated by the Sun. Earth’s oceans and atmosphere, modified by the life of the growing biosphere, moderate the day–night swings of temperature to an average global temperature of 15°C (59°F). Our moderating biosphere enabled humans to evolve to where our industries now consume increasing parts of the ancient (i.e., fossil fuels, high–grade minerals, and others) and modern biosphere (i.e., atmospheric oxygen, clean water, and others) and are significantly degrading the modern atmosphere, oceans, and biosphere to provide us with thermal and electric power and other goods and services. Our ancient terrestrial resources cannot provide us sustainable economic growth and security. Natural sunlight on Earth cannot enable a growing economy. At Earth’s surface, sunlight is unpredictably irregular and requires massive power collection, electric distribution, and power storage to provide somewhat reliable commercial electric power. In contrast, sunlight falls reliably onto the Moon, unimpeded by atmospheric clouds, rain, fog, and dust or life. Very low–mass solar–power collectors constructed on the Moon from lunar soils can convert the collected sunlight into beams of microwave photons that can be directed to receivers on Earth. These receivers can efficiently output low–cost commercial electric power. The beams dependably pass through all atmospheric conditions and can be provided night and day. Electric energy costs can decrease by a factor of 10 or more. This massless electric power enables a growing global economy that is sustainable and clean.
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This publcation is a comprehensive and integrated review of energy and mineral resources in the Solar System, including materials that can both sustain future manned expeditions and colonies in space and support Earth's energy and critical material challenges in the 21st century and beyond. All long-range programs for human exploration and settlement of the solar system recognize the vital role that extraterrestrial energy and mineral resources must play in support of human habitation of near Earth Space and the Moon, Mars, and the Asteroids. Produced in colaboration with the AAPG Energy Minerals Division and the AAPG Astrogeology Committee, this Memoir reflects AAPG's vision of advancing the science and technology of energy, minerals, and hydrocarbon resources into the future and supporting exploration and development of the ultimate frontier, beyond Earth's atmosphere.