[ExI] Space Project (power satellites)

Keith Henson hkeithhenson at gmail.com
Fri Aug 7 17:49:04 UTC 2020

Perhaps someone has a proposal to get around this problem.  I have
thought about it for the last 3-4 years and failed to come up with a
solution except to construct power satellites entirely with

If we build power satellites in LEO and try to fly them out to GEO,
they get hit with space junk about 40 times.  (Excel spreadsheet on
request.)  If we are building only a few, then the power satellites
can cope with the damage and the additional space junk created by the

But a few power satellites will not solve energy or carbon problems,
it takes thousands and this would cause Kessler syndrome  The only
solution I know is to build them above the junk at around 2000 km.
People can't work there, it's in the lower Van Allen belt and lethal
within hours.

It is physically possible to clean up the space junk, but the cost and
political problems would probably doom power satellites entirely.

The current baseline logistics is to collect parts in a 300 km orbit,
then use a recycling tug with chemical fuel to get them out to the
construction site at 2000 km (densely packed so they present a small
target to getting hit).  It takes (IIRC) 827 m/s for a Hohmann
transfer from 300 km out to 2000.  The fuel burned increases the cost
of parts (and reaction mass) at the construction orbit by about 20%
over the cost at 300 km.


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