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Power Technology

Japan Plans $21B Space Power Plant 550

Mike writes "Japan has announced plans to send a $21 billion solar power generator into space that will be capable of producing one gigawatt of energy, or enough to power 294,000 homes. The project recently received support from Mitsubishi Electric Corp. and IHI Corp, who are now teaming up in the race to develop new technology within four years that can beam electricity back to Earth without the use of cables. Japan hopes to test a small solar satellite decked out with solar panels by the year 2015."
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Japan Plans $21B Space Power Plant

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  • Robots (Score:3, Funny)

    by Abreu ( 173023 ) on Tuesday September 01, 2009 @02:06PM (#29276133)

    I suggest using intelligent robots to manage the Space Power Plant.

    Of course, you need to be careful that they don't develop their own religion...

  • by eln ( 21727 ) on Tuesday September 01, 2009 @02:18PM (#29276349)
    You're thinking too short-term. All they need is another .21 Gigawatts and they can travel to the future and steal the plans for the perpetual motion machines that almost certainly will have been invented by then, and all our energy problems will be solved!
  • by Tibor the Hun ( 143056 ) on Tuesday September 01, 2009 @02:20PM (#29276367)

    Those are all good links and all, but what will they do about the energy lost in transit, or otherwise absorbed into the atmosphere, and would by its very nature contribute to global warming?

  • by CarpetShark ( 865376 ) on Tuesday September 01, 2009 @02:23PM (#29276415)

    Japan is a small place with a high population density, and a good number of nuclear plants already. Perhaps they're simply running out of reasonable nuclear sites.

    Either way, this opens the way for whole new sci-fi-like plots to do with hijacking power satellites for nefarious purposes, so I'm all for it ;)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 01, 2009 @02:37PM (#29276625)

    What until this thing goes off target and burns a hole in the earth, or starts vaporizing the oceans. Will no one think of the whales!

  • by Icegryphon ( 715550 ) on Tuesday September 01, 2009 @02:41PM (#29276695)
    "The Agricultural Ministry is Not in Charge of Gundam"
  • by jgtg32a ( 1173373 ) on Tuesday September 01, 2009 @03:17PM (#29277083)
    Its because you're using Imperial and they are using Metric
  • by bberens ( 965711 ) on Tuesday September 01, 2009 @03:22PM (#29277145)
    You failed high school physics didn't you?
  • by spitzak ( 4019 ) on Tuesday September 01, 2009 @03:24PM (#29277167) Homepage

    Note that this only happens twice a year, not every day.

  • by Firemouth ( 1360899 ) on Tuesday September 01, 2009 @03:26PM (#29277197)
    I've played with this technology before and thing's didn't go so well. I was the mayor a city and we had a few hundred thousand people in it. Let's call them "Sims" to protect their identity. They were all bitching about how coal polluted the atmosphere and such. So one day after I was lounging around in my mayor's office this guy called me up and said "hey you should try this microwave energy stuff, it doesn't pollute." So I dropped some coin on this new technology, and everyone loved me.

    That is, until the beam got out of alignment and fried half of the town. Then a huge robot showed up and finished off the rest of the town. And just to add insult to injury, an 8.0 earth quake hit and swallowed up what was left of the city.

    Let that be a lesson to anyone who might want to try this technology.
  • by jollyreaper ( 513215 ) on Tuesday September 01, 2009 @03:42PM (#29277343)

    If you are about to post anything about any of the issues below, please at least read the Wiki page on SBSP [wikipedia.org] first. Doing so will save a lot of electrons.

    I read your stupid link and it says nothing about the following:

    • The Japanese are doing this. What are the chances powersuits will be used in construction?
    • If powersuits are used, what are the chances that the best and most skilled operators will be teenage girls?
    • If the operators are teenage girls, what are the odds that the suits will be sheer and have the kind of curves that make us think the bad thoughts?
    • If the robot suits are sexy, what are the odds that they will have to be pressed into service as the last-ditch defense of humanity against aliens, evil robots, evil alien robots, and/or tentacle monsters?

    If all of the above comes to pass, I don't give a fuck what you say, the solar power sat will be upgraded into a death ray and it will be fucking AWESOME.

  • by HikingStick ( 878216 ) <z01riemerNO@SPAMhotmail.com> on Tuesday September 01, 2009 @04:00PM (#29277531)
    TOKYO - Residents have reported that giant reptile, Godzilla, was just struck down and apparently killed by a misdirected microwave beam from Japan's orbiting power generation satellite. The giant lizard fell in a residential area and caused substantial damage. Hundreds of people are missing and presumed dead.

    The Greenpeace and the International Humane Society have issued a joint statement criticizing the Japanese government for allowing their satellite to destroy the last specimen of this endangered species.

    Godzilla had a long history of appearing in Japanese cities, and often caused much damage with each visit. Typically, the creature appeared when some other monstrous threat appeared. Apart from the Windows 7 launch in Tokyo, no one is aware of any significant events that would have drawn the creature to the city.

    Because of his history as a destructive source, many people are glad to see the death of the giant lizard. A representative of the Japanese tourism ministry, however, is reported to have said that, "Godzilla's passing will have a profound affect on the people of Japan, and upon the Japanese tourist economy."

    Japanese street vendor, Aido Hawishinna, witnessed the event and reported, "It hit the buildings as it fell, and crashed just beyond my stand. It smells like baked fish. I wanted to be the first merchant in the city to sell Godzilla-burgers, but the police and army will not let me harvest the meat before it spoils."

    The Japanese government, in an official statement issued hours after the incident, announced that it plans to conduct an autopsy on the remains, to determine if Godzilla's death was related to problems on the orbital microwave power platform.
  • by sorin25 ( 1488115 ) on Tuesday September 01, 2009 @04:20PM (#29277721)

    If you are trapped on an desert island with a suitcase full of gold, it won't seem that valuable compared to your neighbors crate of canned foods, or the guy with the can opener.

    Actually, gold bricks can do more damage at impact than canned foods ...

  • by damburger ( 981828 ) on Tuesday September 01, 2009 @04:44PM (#29278003)
    No, but having a gigawatt orbital death ray gives puts you in a better position to negotiate emissions reduction treaties
  • by catbertscousin ( 770186 ) on Tuesday September 01, 2009 @04:48PM (#29278037)
    Japan doesn't need an orbital laser cannon for world domination; they control the production and supply of manga.
  • by Louis Savain ( 65843 ) on Tuesday September 01, 2009 @05:11PM (#29278279) Homepage

    The whole space-based power thing is just a science geek's wet dream. It will never happen. You might as well forget about a world powered by wind, sunlight, tides, ocean waves, algae, corn, sugar cane, etc. All that stuff is excruciatingly primitive and will not succeed in the long run.

    The amazing truth is that, like fish in the ocean, we are swimming in wall-to-wall energy but we can't see it. Why? Because we are blinded by our current assumptions about how bodies really move. Soon though, all that will change because not everybody is making the same assumptions about motion. A few mavericks are thinking deep thoughts. Get ready for the age of infinite free energy and true zero emissions.

    Nasty Little Truth About Motion [rebelscience.org]

  • by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Tuesday September 01, 2009 @08:14PM (#29280115) Journal

    You Americans...

    Not sure why you're addressing that at me - I'm British. Projecting much?

  • by Louis Savain ( 65843 ) on Tuesday September 01, 2009 @08:38PM (#29280305) Homepage

    My stuff speaks for itself. My point was and is that anybody who accuses me of being a crackpot in public should publically identify himself or herself. And yes, it is all about gonads and the lacks thereof. It takes guts to be accountable to one's words.

    Ad hominems are personal opinions. They smack of cowardice, especially when they are anonymous. It's a chicken shit way of trying to destroy a message without taking the time and the effort to address it. Opinions are a dime a dozen. A well-formed argument, on the other hand, is priceless.

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts." -- Bertrand Russell