Chinese scientists are planning the biggest space project in the history of mankind. According to Xinhua, the official news agency of the People’s Republic, Chinese engineers plan to send a solar panel 36 kilometres above ground. The energy produced is to be sent down to earth via laser. Ecology is becoming more and more important in China, and the space power station is considered a milestone in tackling smog and pollution. An energy station in space would be able to produce around 10 times more energy than solar stations on earth because the weather would no longer be an obstacle. Nevertheless, many experts are skeptical: The planned station would weigh around 100 tons. Currently it is hardly possible to send 10 tons into orbit.
The idea itself is not new. Science fiction author Isaac Asimov described a similar project in his short story, “Reason”, in 1941. Peter E. Glaser, former Vice President for Advanced Technology at Arthur D. Little, worked on a similar project for years during the 1970s. Glaser received financial support from NASA.