In a proposal that could be set to make the most of the moon’s proximity to the sun, one Japanese corporation wants to create a power station up in space.
As people who pay quite a bit of attention to science fiction films and TV shows, we’re taught that maybe sending things up into the upper, mysterious realms of space isn’t such a bad thing. For one, who knows what questions lay unanswered (and even unasked) out there in the galaxy and beyond? Do Martians and aliens akin to those in the Toy Story films exist? Or, as the scientists in headlines often suggest, is there another, habitable planet out there for us to live on? In reality, the questions and answers are more simple than that as up in space, according to one Japanese corporation, lies a solution to all of our renewable energy problems.
Hailing from Japan, architectural and engineering firm, Shimizu Corporation, say that the moon could be the perfect home for the “Lunar Ring”, which would quite literally be a power station up in space. Whilst sounding completely outlandish, the Lunar Ring would be comprised of a belt of solar cells, which would go around the moon’s 11,000km equator. These solar cells would grow in width from just a few kilometres to a whopping, great 400km wide. Shimizu claim that these cells would be able to continuously transfer 13,000 terawatts back to Earth (although it’s unclear on how frequent that would be transferred) via electric cables that send the power to transmission facilities which in turn will be equipped with 20km microwave powers antennas, suited to then transfer power to receiving antennas with radio beacons. Once the power has been transferred in these many different ways, it would finally be beamed, via high-density lasers, to offshore receiving facilities down on Earth.
Sound complicated? Despite all of the complicated technology involved, Shimizu say that the Lunar Ring could one day allow for unlimited use of clean energy, which is a bold feat but it’s one that could solve the problem of running out of non-renewable energy sources (such as fuel that would take millions of years to recreate). In turn, the brochure from Shimizu explaining this also suggests that lunar soil can be made into ceramics, glass, oxygen, concrete and even water, with the latter being a possibility when reduced with hydrogen that could be imported from Earth. The Japanese corporation also say that the construction work would be carried out by robots sent from Earth, which could be rather expensive. In all, it could be space laws that prevent this from happening but whether or not Shimizu have a way of getting around these is yet to be seen.
We’ll keep you posted once we know more.
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