Inward Bound: How Should We Colonize the Earth?

Inward Bound: How Should We Colonize the Earth?

A star such as the Sun provides stupendous quantities of power. We earthlings tap into only a tiny fraction of the power of the Sun’s light that reaches Earth because so much of that power is lost when the Sun’s light is transmitted through the atmosphere. But what if we extracted the Sun’s solar energy from space by building large arrays of space-based solar panels? Space-based solar energy has myriad applications such as powering infrastructure and cities on the Earth, the Moon, or other worlds in the solar system; it can also be used to sterilize “space junk” and to create a highway between the stars for solar-sail spacecraft.