NASA designs enormous 'margarita glass' to harvest sun's energy

   Apr 13, 3:33 pm

London, Apr 13 (ANI): NASA has designed a giant cocktail glass floating through the sky that would soak up the sun's rays from high above the Earth.

The energy would be beamed down to our planet where power stations would pick it up and farm it out to customers.

NASA is taking the idea so seriously that it has asked one of its former engineers to provide a proof of concept study.

John Mankins, who runs California based firm Artemis Innovation Management Solutions, said the SPS-ALPHA, or Solar Power Satellite via Arbitrarily Large PHased Array, could become a reality one day.

He claims that it would be much cheaper than some alternatives like a single array that could go around Earth.

It would be made up of thousands of thin, curved mirror-like pieces, which could move around to ensure that they picked up as much sun as possible.

The inside of the SPS-ALPHA would also be lined with photovaltic panels that convert the sun 's energy into microwaves.

These microwaves would then be beamed down to Earth out of the bottom end of the ' cocktail glass'.

On the NASA website Mankins writes the project is 'a novel, bio-mimetic approach to the challenge of space solar power'.

"If successful, this project will make possible the construction of huge platforms from tens of thousands of small elements that can deliver remotely and affordably 10s to 1000s of megawatts using wireless power transmission to markets on Earth and missions in space," the Daily Mail quoted Mankins as saying.

The technology could make it more likely that mankind could build a Dyson sphere.

The spherical solar panel would go around the Sun and give us more energy than we ever need, but it is not clear how it could be brought back the 93 million miles to Earth. (ANI)

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