SPS Built of Lunar Materials. Space Studies Institute RFP 1984

The success of the Space Shuttle enlarged space capabilities. In spite of the negative conclusions of the NRC study, the SPS concept is of increasing international interest. SPS related studies are being carried out in Japan, Europe, the Soviet Union and Canada. Several UN Conferences discussed the SPS, and a symposium on the SPS was held in conjunction with UniSpace '82. International technical conferences featured sessions on the SPS, most recently at the I.A.F. Congress, Budapest, October 1983. The Space Solar Power Review, published by Pergamon Press on behalf of the Sunsat Energy Council, communicates important new developments to an international readership. SSI, through the research it funds and through its newsletter, "SSI Update," has supported SPS- related development since the late 1970's. E. LUNAR RESOURCES UTILIZATION (LRU) — HISTORY AND STATUS In 1978, a NASA-sponsored study was conducted to evaluate the extensive use of lunar materials, rather than all materials obtained from Earth, for construction of solar power satellites (reference #2). In this concept, lunar surface material would be mined, brought to high orbit, processed to obtain useful elements such as silicon, oxygen, aluminum and iron, and fabricated into satellites capable of providing useful electrical power on Earth, thereby generating revenue. Potential benefits associated with lunar resource utilization include: 1) Lower energy requirements for delivery of material from Moon to geosynchronous orbit (GEO) than from Earth to GEO, resulting in reduced transportation costs. 2) Significantly reduced Earth material requirements since the majority of construction materials are obtained from the Moon.