Madrid, 3 (Europe Press)
This is a prototype called Space Solar Power Demonstrator (SSPD) developed by Caltech’s Space Solar Power Project (SSPP).
Space solar makes it possible to harness the unlimited supply of solar energy in outer space, where energy is constantly available without exposure to day/night cycles, seasons, and cloud cover.
The release, currently scheduled for January, marks a significant milestone in the project and promises to make what was once science fiction a reality. When achieved, SSPP will deploy a constellation of modular spacecraft that will collect sunlight, convert it into electricity and transmit it wirelessly over long distances wherever it is needed, even to places where there is currently no access to power.
The Momentus Vigoride spacecraft carried aboard a SpaceX rocket on the Transporter-6 SSPD mission will carry the 50-kilogram SSPD into space, Caltech reports.
It consists of three main experiments, each tasked with testing a different key technology for the project:
– DOLCE (Deployable In Orbit Ultralight Vehicle Experiment): A 2 x 2 meter structure that demonstrates the architecture, packing system, and deployment mechanisms of the modular spacecraft that will eventually form a kilometer-scale constellation forming a power plant.
ALBA: An array of 22 different photovoltaic (PV) cell types, to allow evaluation of the most effective cell types in the harsh environment of space.
– MAPLE (Microwave Array Energy Transfer Low Orbit Experiment): A suite of lightweight, flexible microwave energy transmitters with precise timing control that selectively focuses energy on two different receivers to demonstrate wireless energy transmission over a distance in space.
The fourth plug-in for the SSPD is an electronic box that interacts with Vigoride’s computer and controls the three experiments.
It will take about 10 minutes for the rocket to reach the desired altitude. The Momentus spacecraft will then deploy from the rocket into orbit. The Caltech team on Earth plans to begin conducting their SSPD experiments within weeks of launch.
“Award-winning zombie scholar. Music practitioner. Food expert. Troublemaker.”