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Unformatted text preview: base. NASA’s Constellation programme, which planned a manned mission to the Moon and Mars, was considering such a proposal, says West, but the mission was cancelled along with the rest of the programme in February 2010. Still, the agency’s Advanced Technology Development Center in Atlanta, Georgia, remains interested in solar sails and was expected to release a call for proposals during the autumn of 2010, he says. When Congress voted in September to fund NASA under a continuing resolution, thereby preventing the agency from starting new projects, the proposal was delayed. But if future solar-sail demonstrations succeed and electronic technology shrinks, allowing for even smaller and lighter probes, the propulsion method is certain to see some action, says West. “There’s a niche for solar sails and it’s there for the taking.” Gonzaga Debate Institute 2011 162 Mercury Politics Space Solar Power – Political Capital (1/2) Space-based solar requires significant political capital National Security Space Office, 7 [National Security Space Office Interim Assessment, Report to the Director, 10-10-7, “Space‐Based Solar Power As an Opportunity for Strategic Security”, p. 24,, accessed 7-2-11] Space‐Based Solar Power is not a small project, but might be considered comparable in scale to the national railroads, highway system, or electrification project than the Manhattan or Apollo endeavors. However, unlike such purely national projects, this project also has components that are analogous to the development of the high‐volume international civil aviation system. Such a large endeavor carries with it significant international and environmental implications and so would require a corresponding amount of political will to realize its benefits. Plan not popular – Massive political, logistical, and financial hurdles Mahan, Citizens for Space Based Solar Power, 7 [Rob, creator of citizens for Space Based Solar Power, C-SBSP,, accessed 6-30-11] The financial solution will admittedly be very expensive at first , so there must be an early adopter, like the Defense Department, to provide a market and rewards for those willing to invest in space based solar power and the supporting technologies. Engineering and scientific advancements and the commercialization of supporting technologies will soon lead to ubiquitous and low cost access to space and more widespread use of wireless power transmision. Economies of scale will eventually make space-based solar power affordable, but probably never cheap again, like energy was fifty years ago. Eventual Moon based operations will reduce costs significantly, since it takes twenty-two times less energy to launch from Moon than from Earth’s gravity well and the use of lunar materials will allow heavier, more robust structures. The political solution will most likely be the biggest hurdle to the d...
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