Nikolai Joseph, policy analyst at NASA’s office of technology, policy and strategy, said the agency is reevaluating the feasibility of space-based solar power through a short-term study, SpaceNews reported Saturday.
“As the technology has evolved, the feasibility of the system has changed over time,” Joseph said Friday at a conference. “This study is going to assess the degree to which NASA should support space-based solar power.”
The study will reevaluate previous concepts for gathering space-based solar energy for conversion to electricity on the ground.
Joseph said lower launch costs and advances in electronics, thermal systems and other technical areas prompted the space agency to reassess the viability of SBSP.
“The elephant in the room is launch costs, and launch has become significantly more accessible. That completely changes the way we look at this,” he stated.
Joseph noted that the agency plans to complete and present the study, which will also look at public perception of SBSP, in September at the International Astronautical Congress in Paris.