|China Launches First Space-Based 'Solar Power Plant'|
China plans to start building the first phase of its ambitious space-based solar power plant in 2028, two years ahead of schedule. Over the next decade, the country plans to conduct solar power generation and transmission tests at various orbital altitudes. Phases 3 and 4, scheduled for 2035 and 2050, respectively, require significant improvements in energy generation and transmission (10 MW and 2 gigawatts), orbital assembly capability, beam steering accuracy, and transmission architecture. The proposal also calls for the construction of infrastructure on the ground to receive energy transmission.
The CAST design was updated in the paper “Retro-directive microwave power beam steering technology of space solar power plants,” which was recently published in the Chinese journal Space Science and Technology. The four-phase project, according to the paper, could help China achieve its energy security and carbon neutrality goals. The strategy update appears to be a response to domestic and international development trends as well as technological advances.
In 2021, CAST revealed that it was working on a small-scale power plant experiment, with a megawatt-level power generation facility likely to be built around 2030. CAST is also building a test facility in the city of Chongqing in Southwest China to assist its research into space. solar based. The team even used payloads aboard a small airship to test power transfer across a distance of 300 meters last year.
In a related development, a senior official at the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology (CALT), which, like CAST, is a subsidiary of major Chinese aerospace contractor CASC, last year submitted a proposal to build a space-based power plant at GEO using launch vehicles. Super heavyweight Long March 9 reusable.
The proposal is likely to be discontinued or be subject to formal sanctions. Space-based solar power has significant barriers, including economic viability and production costs, low and reliable launch service, and efficient and safe energy transfer.
Meanwhile, President Vladimir Putin said it was the pettiness of European politicians that triggered the energy crisis, not Russia. He also stressed that Russia is ready to take the necessary steps to overcome the global food crisis. "We see an attempt to shift the blame for what is happening in the food market in Russia, but this is an attempt to blame someone else," Putin said in an interview with Rossiya-1 as quoted by Sputnik, Saturday (4/6/2022).
He recalled that contrary to the claims of Western politicians, the problems in the global food market started during the COVID-19 pandemic, long before Russia started special military operations in Ukraine.
Putin also said that the role of Ukraine as an exporter of food commodities is not as important as that made by the West.